In a Thursday morning trade seemingly out of nowhere, the Nashville Predators have traded Viktor Arvidsson to the Los Angeles Kings for a 2021 second-round pick and a third from 2022. While Arvidsson has been a fan-favorite in Nashville for years and was a crucial piece in the 2017 cup finalist team, his numbers have declined the past couple of seasons and is a player GM David Poile was unlikely to be able to protect in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. Meanwhile, the Kings get a play-driving specialist only a few years removed from a 30+ goal season who could see a revival with a simple change of scenery.
However, Predators fans might need to take this as a sign that more players they’ve grown to love might not be wearing the gold sweater for too much longer either. With a team playing below their potential for much of the 2020-21 season, and the emergence of younger players such as Eeli Tolvanen, Alexandre Carrier, Yakov Trenin, and Tanner Jeannot, many have speculated big changes were only a matter of time. As Arvidsson has been a mainstay in the Predators lineup for the past five years or so, this a huge trade for the direction of the franchise and may very well be more than just asset management for the upcoming expansion draft.
Another situation to keep an eye on is Filip Forsberg, who seemingly voiced his disapproval of the trade in an Instagram story shortly after the news broke.
Forsberg is set to be a UFA in 2022, and it’s crucial for the Predators to have a promising season in order for him to re-sign. Fans and analysts have also speculated what may happen with Ryan Johansen and/or Matt Duchene, as both players have underperformed and carry $16 million of cap space combined. Regardless, it seems that this trade may just be the beginning of difficult decisions Poile will have to make this summer.
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