Why the Toronto Maple Leafs Should Trade for Viktor Arvidsson

OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 15: John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his third period goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammate William Nylander #88 at Canadian Tire Centre on January 15, 2021 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
OTTAWA, ON - JANUARY 15: John Tavares #91 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his third period goal against the Ottawa Senators with teammate William Nylander #88 at Canadian Tire Centre on January 15, 2021 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Matt Zambonin/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /
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Predators GM David Poile listens to a question during the team’s press conference concerning the 27-game suspension for Austin Watson. Watson Suspension Presserpoile 091218
Predators GM David Poile listens to a question during the team’s press conference concerning the 27-game suspension for Austin Watson. Watson Suspension Presserpoile 091218 /

So, Why Would Nashville Make Arvidsson Available?

Following the Predators’ disappointing qualifying round series loss at the hands of the Arizona Coyotes, GM David Poile promised significant changes after an “unacceptable” playoff defeat.

“Bottom line, this is unacceptable, and this is how we have to view this result is that we have to be better, and it’s not acceptable.” – David Poile.

This past offseason, however, many were not expecting the Predators to be major players. According to Forbes December 2020 NHL Team Values rankings, Nashville landed as the 25th most valuable franchise, with an operating income of –$13.4 million. That largely has to do with the COVID-19 pandemic, and as such, offseason improvements were not projected to be grand.

Their most notable signing came in the form of inking center Erik Haula to a one-year, $1.75 million contract. But with Roman Josi, Matt Duchene, Filip Forsberg, and Ryan Ellis still around, the Predators were still expected to contend in 2020-21.

Getting off to a 6-9-0 start to their season, sitting 7th out of 8 in their division in terms of points and points percentage, above only the Detroit Red Wings, Poile cannot be impressed with his team thus far.

On Saturday night, things seemed to have come to ahead as the Predators were defeated by the Wings 4-2. Rumours began to swirl on the future of head coach John Hynes, with Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now confirming reports Hynes could be on the hot seat.

Between the GM unhappy with his group, a potential coaching change after only a year on the job, and the team on an overall decline since their Stanley Cup Final loss in 2017, the recipe for a full-scale rebuild is there.

If that is the case, Arvidsson would be a nice piece for a contender to add to get ready for the playoffs.

Having suited up for 59 playoff games over the past five seasons, Arvidsson would bring along with him some postseason experience and his $4.25 million cap hit for the next three and a half seasons is attractive.