The first of what is going to be many dominoes this offseason just fell. With the Seattle expansion draft approaching teams are starting to figure out who they want to protect. Nashville found themselves in a similar situation that they did back during the Vegas expansion draft. The trade is very simple and kind of lopsided at first glance. The LA Kings acquire Viktor Arvidsson from Nashville, and Nashville receives a 2021 second-round pick, and a 2022 third-round pick.
Arvidsson played seven seasons in Nashville. He had two 30+ goal years and had 29 goal season sandwiched between the two. In 385 career games at the NHL level, he has 239 points. He still has three years left on his deal with a $4.25 million AAV (Cap Friendly). A very team-friendly deal for a guy that can score you 30 goals in a full 82 game season.
Why Nashville made the deal
Back in 2017 for the Vegas expansion draft, the Preds opted to protect eight skaters. Mattias Ekholm, Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis, P.K. Subban, Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen, Calle Jarnkrok, and Pekka Rinne. That year they lost James Neal to the Vegas Golden Knights. They opted to keep four defensemen and lose a valuable forward and it looks to be that will be the path the Preds choose again this year.
We know that they will protect Josi, Ellis, and Ekholm. And now they have Dante Fabbro who is a promising right-handed defenseman at the young age of 23. With four other slots left to protect forwards, they were left with a difficult decision. Filip Forsberg is 100% being protected and Colton Sissons has a really nice team-friendly contract for the next five seasons. Luke Kunin will more than likely be protected. He is another young forward with a lot of potential. There is one spot left and there is a handful of routed the Preds could go. GM Dave Poile has some plan up his sleeve
At first glance, the Kings make out like bandits and that could be the evaluation a few years from now if Arvidsson returns to form. If he puts up 20 goals a year each of the remaining three years on his deal I think you can safely call that a win for the Kings. But right now Arvidsson is a perfect addition to this team. He is an experienced winger who just makes his team better when he is on the ice.
The winger position is something that the Kings needed to address. He steps right in for the top-six forward group and becomes a big piece to replace longtime King Dustin Brown if he decides to hang up the skates when his contract expires next season.
Overall this was a great trade for the Kings to make and they had the draft picks to pull it off. From the Nashville side of things, you have to be happy that you didn’t lose Arvidsson for nothing in the expansion draft. You got two lottery tickets in the form of draft picks and maybe one of them will be a nice replacement for him one day. Or maybe you even package those picks for another player or to get rid of that disgusting Matt Duchene contract.
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