Kevin Fiala reunites with former teammates, goals for standout season in LA
Feature photo: Getty Images
Welcome to Kevin Fiala’s version of California dreaming.
To say that the Swiss-born winger is looking forward to suiting up for his first season with the Los Angeles Kings would be a vast understatement.
“It’s going to be great,” said Fiala. “My wife and I are really looking forward to this new opportunity. On the ice, I can’t wait to play for the Kings and obviously, Los Angeles is a great place to live. We’ve heard great things about it, so we couldn’t be more happy.
The native of St. Gallen, Switzerland, inked a seven-year contract with the Kings in late June, one day after he was acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wild.
The 26-year-old, who posted NHL career highs in goals (33), assists (52) and points (85) in 82 games for the Wild in 2021-22, will get a chance to play alongside former Nashville Predators teammate Viktor Arvidsson in Los Angeles.
“We had dinner last Sunday, so it’s going to be nice to be able to play together and hang out together too.”
Fiala has also heard from several other new teammates as well.
“I received texts from so many of the guys, welcoming me to the team and wanting to know if I needed help with anything,” he told NHLPA.com. “I really appreciate all of that support. It’s one more thing that makes you look forward to this new part of my career.”
His phone wasn’t the only one working overtime.
Kevin’s wife, Jessica, received a similar warm welcome.
“A lot of the players’ significant others reached out to my wife. They wanted to make sure she felt welcome, and I know she does. It’s been nice to have so many people get in touch with us and wanting us to be comfortable. That’s a good feeling to have when you come to a new team. We feel very fortunate.”
His teammates no doubt feel fortunate to have Fiala in the fold.
Selected by the Predators eleventh overall at the 2014 NHL Draft, Fiala has since racked up 283 points (124 goals, 159 assists) in 419 regular-season NHL games, along with 15 points (nine goals, six assists) in 35 playoff games.
He’s looking to build off his outstanding 2021-22 campaign.
“With the team, it’s going to be a great fit. They made the playoffs last year and the team is getting better and better. There’s lots of great young talent and some really strong veterans too. It’s just a very exciting future for us. So, I’m looking forward to a new chance and a really great team. It’s a new challenge, but I’m ready for it. When I signed, I wanted to get out there. I couldn’t wait to start. Of course, the summer is a chance to relax, but the more it goes on, the more excited you get for the season.”
Aside from the opportunity to suit up with a new team, Fiala is also looking forward to getting out and enjoying the vibrant Los Angeles food scene.
Food recommendations from teammates have been plenty.
“The restaurants, getting a chance to explore a new city, we are excited about that for sure. My wife and I really like Asian food and I heard the Mexican food is great there as well. Sushi, steakhouses, Italian – there’s going to be a lot of places to get out and try. When you think about it, you realize there is so much to look forward to.”
All of it enough to make Fiala feel like a king.