The Nashville Predators’ first offseason domino has fallen.
The team announced Thursday they’ve traded Viktor Arvidsson to the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for the Kings’ 2nd round draft pick in 2021, and their 3rd round pick in 2022.
#Preds General Manager David Poile announced today that the team has acquired Los Angeles' second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and Los Angeles' third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft from the Los Angeles Kings for Viktor Arvidsson.https://t.co/s4GYJiAQx1— Nashville Predators (@PredsNHL) July 1, 2021
David Poile made this statement through the team regarding Arvidsson’s time in Nashville.
“We want to thank Viktor for all he did to propel our organization forward during his time with the Predators. His work ethic, tenacity and goal-scoring ability - as shown by his franchise single-season record of 34 goals during the 2018-19 season - made him a key part of our teams that reached the 2017 Stanley Cup Final, won the 2018 Presidents’ Trophy and earned back-to-back Central Division titles. We wish him and his family all the best moving forward in Los Angeles.”
This is the first move of what was expected to be a busy summer for the Nashville Predators. Arvidsson’s departure means the Predators not only have one less “big name” to deal with during the Seattle Kraken expansion draft, but it also takes his $4.25 million cap hit off the books for the next three seasons.
Over the past several weeks, Arvidsson’s name had come up in multiple “player movement” stories around Nashville. The 28-year-old forward is just two years removed from setting the Predators’ single-season goal record (34 scored in 2018-19). But he’s suffered from a noticeable dip in form since John Hynes took over as head coach in January 2020. Although Arvidsson did find his game a bit towards the end of the 2021 season — including a hat trick against Detroit in April and a two-goal game against the Lightning later in the month — he never quite looked like a fit in Hynes’s offensive system.
Still, Arvidsson will leave Nashville as one of the most popular Predators to suit up for the team. His combination of speed, intensity, and the ability to turn broken plays into moments of gold (on the ceiling) have permanently endeared him to the fanbase.
As mentioned before, this is likely the first of multiple moves David Poile makes this summer. It’s been rumored that the Preds could try and move another big contract (potentially Ryan Johansen or Matt Duchene) in one way or another before the upcoming season. Plus, there’s still the matter of the upcoming expansion draft.
Thoughts on the trade, Smashville?