On Thursday, the Predators traded Forward Viktor Arvidsson to the L.A. Kings in exchange for a 2021 2nd and 2022 3rd round pick.
Arvidsson, 28, was drafted by Nashville in the 4th round pick of the 2014 draft. In the 6 seasons he played for the Predators, Arvidsson totaled 127 goals and 112 assists and played 385 games, recording 0.62 points per game over his 6 seasons. For reference, Roman Josi, who led the team in points in 2020-21, finished the season with 0.68 points per game.
Throughout his career with Nashville, Arvidsson was constantly among the highest scoring forwards and scored many significant goals.
The trade away from Nashville came in large part due to Arvidsson's injuries. His injuries often seemed very severe and when he came back from them, he never seemed like the same player he was before. The back injury which kept him out of a large part of the 2019 season, was a very dirty hit by the Blues' Robert Bartuzzo and was not a result of Arvidsson being injury prone. He also suffered a lower body injury in 2017 and a broken thumb in 2018 which ultimately led him to miss 45 games. Often times, he seemed to play through pain and as a result, lacked the explosiveness that made him easily identifiable. Prior to the hit, in the 16-17, 17-18, 18-19, and beginning of 19-20 season, Arivdsson averaged 0.77 points per game. After the hit, he averaged 0.45.
Prior to the injury against the Blues, Arvidsson was among the most energetic and quickest players in the league. His deadly slapshot, speed, and puckhandling made him and the Predator's first line extremely difficult to defend. Arvidsson's injuries, and now trade, broke up the JoFA (Johansen, Forsberg, Arvidsson) line and when he was out, the line struggled greatly without him. JoFA was crucial to the team's success in their 2017 Stanley Cup Final run and will be greatly missed going forward.
From 2016 to 2019, Arvidsson recorded three 29+ goal seasons in a row, something not even Filip Forsberg has done. He solidified himself as one of the team's best playmakers and remained near the top of that list until he was traded away. His 2018-19 season was incredible as he set the Predators record for most goals in a season with 34.
Arvidsson's 2020-21 season was pretty disappointing as he missed multiple regular season games due to injury as well as the 6 game playoff series against the Canes. He did total 25 points but toward the end of the season, Matt Duchene, Mikael Granlund, and Eeli Tolvanen began to rotate more into the first two lines, decreasing the need for Arvidsson.
The compensation, a 2022 2nd and 3rd round pick, is quite disappointing. For how much Arvidsson can provide for Nashville when healthy, this trade is disappointing. He provides a spark and always goes at full speed and earned himself the name of "Arvy Hustle" for good reason. Arvy Hustle always got to pucks you would never expect him to and constantly defied expectations despite his 5'9 frame.
David Poile was thinking ahead to the Seattle Kraken 2021 Expansion draft when making this trade, requiring Nashville to protect one less player. The team now sits at $22.7m in cap room, enough to make a pretty significant acquisition if Poile sees fit. Poile is placing more emphasis on defense this offseason as so far, he has held on to all of the team's top 6 defensemen.
While last season could have ended far worse for Nashville and they put up a very good fight against the top seeded Canes, Nashville needs some changes this offseason and this is a very significant one.