POLL: Should LA Kings make a deal with Buffalo for Sam Reinhart?

LA Kings (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Buffalo could be a hot spot for player acquisitions this offseason. Should the LA Kings make a deal for forward Sam Reinhart?

Things have appeared to reach a breaking point in Buffalo. Not only were the Sabres the worst team in the league in the abbreviated 56-game schedule, but the quotes publicly released from Monday’s exit interviews were revealing. While the LA Kings still have two games left before their offseason officially begins, there’s no doubt general manager Rob Blake will have his hands full.

The Kings need more scoring, and while next season should be a full season of Quinton Byfield and potentially others, the organization could stand to supplement the prospects with established players.

Enter Sam Reinhart.

Jack Eichel has been the name thrown around in LA Kings’ circles, but his cost could force Blake to look elsewhere. However, he doesn’t have to go very far, as the 25-year-old Reinhart is still an attractive piece to inquire about.

He led the Sabres in scoring this past season, with 25 goals and 15 assists and split time down the middle between center and right-wing. Of course, the Kings are arguably the deepest team up the middle in terms of talent already on the roster and prospects coming up.

Reinhart was among those who expressed frustration with the Sabres regarding where the organization is in its rebuild.

“No one wants to go through a rebuild,” Reinhart said via The Fourth Period. “It’s tough not being able to play meaningful games down the stretch.”

He’s set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season, and Evolving Hockey projects his next contract at a five-year deal worth $6.9M AAV. The Kings have the salary cap space and assets to make essentially any deal they want, but the question ultimately comes down to what the return looks like.

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Reinhart would likely be a full-time right-winger if traded to the Kings, and his track record for scoring speaks for itself. He hasn’t recorded a positive plus-minus season once in his career, which is more of an indication of the team around him. If you need some assurance, look at Taylor Hall once he got out of Buffalo.

Two other areas where the Kings could use some help. Powerplay and shooting percentage. Reinhart tallied 10 goals and six assists on the man advantage in 2021 and shot the puck at a 19.2 percent clip. For reference, the production on the powerplay would be the best on the current Kings roster, with only Jaret Anderson-Dolan having a higher shooting percentage (19.4%).

So, food for thought above and a poll question below.