Crown Conversations: Viktorious Trade Edition!

The Los Angeles Kings sent a couple of their own draft picks east to Nashville in exchange for a new Swedish forward.

Viktor Arvidsson was a pretty popular guy on the Nashville Predators, so it’s no surprise that two of his closest teammates were... disappointed to learn that their pal had been traded. But in terms of a culture add, this should bode well for Los Angeles. Arvidsson, 28, has a keen nose for the net and likes to shoot the puck. A lot. For a team that struggled mightily to get shots off and ended up middle-of-the-pack in terms of unblocked shot attempts, this should be a very big boon for them. Where he’ll slot in, only time will tell.

Bringing his stats with him, Bryan Bastin from On the Forecheck joined Crown Conversations to tell us more about Arvidsson and back it up with numbers.

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INTRO: [Musical interlude plays, then VO] Are you ready for the most informative, well-thought out hockey podcast on the Internet? You are?? Sorry, it’s just Crown Conversations with your hosts, Robyn P. and James Nicholson.

RP: Hello and welcome to another edition of Crime Conversations: Off-season Edition, Trade Edition, Viktor-ious Edition. Joining me, of course, is co-host, James Nicholson and “B-ry” Bryan Bastin from On The Forecheck. Bryan, James, thanks for joining me today.

BB: Much appreciated. Got a new nickname.  I like it.

JN: And you’re welcome!

BB: Yeah, thank you. I’ll be eternally grateful for that. [James laughs] Yeah, so got some news huh? Why is that Nashville guy here?

RP: Yeah, why is the Nashville guy here, James?

JN: Well that would be because the LA Kings traded for Viktor Arvidsson from the Nashville Predators. The Kings sent a 2021 second round pick, their pick, in the upcoming draft and the 2022 third round pick. So... Which... Yeah, it’s their pick and then they... They get to keep the third round pick that they got from Pittsburgh in the Jeff Carter trade. So two picks, you know, higher half of the draft picks for a guy who... Has been explosive in this scoring at times, is always tough and yeah is maybe hoping for a bounce back with the Kings.

BB: Yeah, I think that uh, you guys got a... It-it’s a... I think it was a good deal. I think... I know a lot of people are, you know, saying that Nashvilled got fleeced, which… I don’t know that I would say that. I think, you know, again with-with the-the draft being you know… Nashville’s in a place where they-they’ve got to start kind of retooling. I don’t I don’t know that I would use the word “rebuild” because I don’t think they’re gonna do that. But... you know, they’re in a spot where for like about probably two three years now, they’ve kind of just stagnated. They’ve added a piece or two here and there, you know, notably Matt Duchene, but... You know it’s-it’s-it’s interesting to see that, you know, they’re finally kind of addressing what they’re... what they want to do. They’re gonna... they’re-they’re... You know David Poile said today on the radio that you know, they hated to do it, which I know he’s always gonna say but, you know, they think they’ve got a guy in Eeli Tolvanen that can kind of fill that same role as a... as a, you know, a shooter basically, a high volume shooter and and you know based on the last year, I think that that that’s probably you know, that’s probably a good thing to expect. You probably get the same kind of production. Now, obviously it hurts seeing Viktor Arvidsson leave as you saw with Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen both voicing their disapproval. But he’s seen as somebody that’s well loved around the city, he’s a great guy, he’s always been just a really fun player to watch and he’s also the Nashville’s record holder for most goals in a season at 34 because they’re one of what, two teams that have never had a 40 goals-scorer? So... Yeah, I mean, he’s a great guy. I’m wondering what you guys think of the trade, what you know, what are you guys, you know, are you excited about it, did you think this is kind of came out of nowhere?

JN: I mean, it happened fast from the way things sounded with the reports. I love it. I mean, we need top six scores for sure in Los Angeles. I think Arvidsson brings that. He also brings defensive responsibility, he’s a guy who plays really well according to some fancy stats I saw in transition. He’s a guy who can shoot off the rush, we’ve seen him really have a tough role on some power play setups down near the net. Kind of being you know, the cleanup guy. Was it a few years ago against the Blues where Bortuzzo just clobbered him from behind?

BB: Yeah and he hasn’t been the same since that hit, that nasty play. And that’s one of the… Yeah, one of things I was gonna bring up is he’s-he’s only... Hasn’t played over 60 games in the last three seasons. Now obviously he wasn’t gonna play more than 60 this year, but yeah, injury-injury issues have been a little bit tough for him as of late, so...

JN: Yeah, I mean and he still... He fought someone on Dallas this year, right?

BB: I think that’s right, it’s this whole season’s a blur but I’m pretty certain he did.

JN: Yeah, he fought Andrew Cogliano who’s definitely—

BB: That’s right!

JN: —a weight class or two from him.

BB: Yeah the only thing better was when we saw last year one of the AHL guys, Yakov Trenin got in that fight with his Chara and he nailed—I mean, he got a, he got a good hit on the chin and kind of stunned Chara bit before Chara, you know, did his his big Frankenstein thing and just kind of laid down. But it was it was pretty impressive. But yeah, I mean, you’ve got that same—there’s some guy, little guys with let’s fight, which of course, fans love that, so…

JN: Yeah, I think in terms of giving up the two draft picks, we’re okay with it because we have other picks in those rounds for this year and next. We have a glut of picks. We already have a glut of guys coming through the junior and AHL ranks. We needed a veteran, we needed somebody who could be a leader and I-I think what you’re seeing from the Predators players on social media is... a glue guy, a guy who is popular in the room and the Kings really need that. They need some uhh… some character. Because man, the Kings have traded away a lot of character over the last three years.

BB: Yeah, seriously. But yeah, I mean he’s gonna be good. I mean, I think you’re right. I mean, he was the guy that you know, he kind of came into the league around that same time that the Filip Forsberg did and they both you know, both of them started kind of hitting their stride when when Nashville traded for Ryan Johansson, and they’ve kind of you know, most seasons they play a majority of their minutes together, the old JoFA line which is something we won’t get to say anymore. But you know, it’s-it’s... He’s been somebody who’s been kind of at the heart of this team for a long time. He, you know, he and Forsberg and Ekholm were together in the World Championships, I think a few years back, for Sweden when they won the gold medal and every picture is all three of them together, you know, wearing sunglasses—the most personality that you ever see out of hockey players. So you can tell that it hurt and I will say this: it doesn’t bode well for Filip Forsberg’s contract extension that’s gonna be due after next season. So I hope that they get that settled soon because he’s one of those guys you can’t... You can’t let get away, so... But that’s unfortunate, you know. Viktor Arvidsson has been this great player. You know you mentioned defensive responsibility, which is you know, it’s it… You’re right. This season and last season actually, he-he’s shown a lot of improvement and that’s something that he kind of straight up just didn’t do before this. I mean, he just is... He’s a small guy for one, but it just wasn’t you know, especially with Peter Laviolette, that he just didn’t have that responsibility given to him really to play defense and why would you I mean, he’s-he’s not that much taller than I am so…

JN: But who plays defense in a Peter Laviolette system?

BB: [chuckles] That’s true. Nobody does. Your defensemen are all your only forwards um... [Bryan and James laugh] But uh, you know, he’s-he... His-his production, unfortunately,  has dropped off, you know, two three year seasons ago when he set the record of 34 goals, he shot a you know, just a 17%, which… I’m sure is sustainable. The year before and after that he was right around 12% and then last season he was about 7%. So yeah, he was a little bit snake bitten this year, I think. There was also a lot of-of line shuffling so I think that might have had something to do with it. But you know that that one big year 34 goals, you know that was that was extremely hot shooting and a lot of that was because he got a lot of… Laviolette would send him to screen when they take point shots and so he’d do this little jump screen in front of the goalie and it worked quite a bit, it deflected off of him several times and so you know that that helped with his goal scoring. In transition like you said, he is extremely effective. He does have a little bit of a tendency—he’s gotten better about it, but he’s got a tendency to... As soon as he thinks the puck is turned over, he just books it to the to the offensive zone and you know, he’s very good at collecting those stretch passes and turning them into good scoring opportunities. I think you know, one of the things we saw him do this season which was little concerning, I guess, is that he had a tendency instead of driving all the way to the net, he’d stop right at the right circle and take a shot which has never been something he’s been great at. I’m not sure why he’s not... he wasn’t still kind of driving at the net more, but you know that was another thing I don’t think that helped with his-his low scoring output this season so... but you know there’s still... He’s 28, I believe and he, you know, he’s still got some years in him. He’s had some injury issues but I think that the Kings got themselves a player that you know, he’s got a good two or three years here he can be a top six scorer that you guys were looking for and I think he’ll be a good addition to the team. I mean for you guys I wonder you know, where do you think he slots in and with who on the line?

RP: I see him second line right wing. Replaces Jeff Carter, basically. I still don’t know who’s gonna play center but um, nobody knows who’s gonna play center outside of basically on Anze Kopitar. We know where Anze Kopitar is, we don’t know where anybody else slots. We... We’re just... It’s kind of funny that they’re still trying to build around Anze Kopitar. I mean, Anze Kopitar is not old. I feel old saying this because he’s like a year older than me, he’s like 34. [Bryan laughs] He’s old for hockey, but he’s not old for being a human. But I mean, it’s... So, it’s kind of crazy that they’re… I feel like that they’re still trying to build around their 30-somethings in Dustin Brown and Andre Kopitar. But yeah, I definitely see Arvidsson slotting in on the right side, second line.

BB: Okay. Yeah and I think that would probably work. I mean, I think that... It’s funny that you mentioned about not having centers because man, that was the Nashville problem for years and you know, according to some you know, some could argue that it’s still a problem, you know, they went and did the Kyle Turris thing which you know for a variety of reasons didn’t work out, you know, Ryan Johansen, people... his... you know, he-he like most forwards who come to Nashville stop scoring goals. But he’s also... But Johansen has been extremely effective. I means he’s a fantastic passer, he’s-he’s just excellent and you know all the all the stats that uh, of course master tracks manually, you know, he-he you know, high danger passesm he’s excellent in so I mean, yeah. But that center problem has been something that I can I can relate to and I’m kind of surprised that Nashville wasn’t trying to be like, hey, you know, you don’t want to center, you know?

RP: Maybe they were.

BB: Yeah, I don’t know. I’d be interested to hear what the negotiation process was like because I-I’m frankly a little surprised it’s the second is this season and not next year’s because next year’s arguably a much deeper draft from what I’ve been told um, and I would have maybe preferred to see two seconds or you know, maybe a first but it’s not like you guys, you know, but hurting for picks, but…

RP: Yes. But the caveat is his injury history. I mean, he’s really slowed down over the last few years scoring wise so... And for LA, they’re kind of taking a big risk on a guy who is on the physical down slope of his career and I mean, he’s only 28. So—

BB: Right. And I mean, that’s how it works. I mean, it’s just unfortunate but that’s just how it is with forwards in hockey.

RP: Yeah.

BB: Yeah, I was... Yeah, I guess the other part is I haven’t really thought about is, he still does have three years left on his deal at $4.25 million which is not bad to be honest, or if you’re gonna have a guy that you’re gonna put in the top six that’s not awful. I think it was a very good deal when it was made despite one very loud local idiot who made a point that he couldn’t, you know, he’s not... A 30-goal-scorer and he immediately did it twice right after that but he’s taking his victory laps today and of course just everybody’s dunking on him because nobody likes him. But I’m not gonna mention any names and I’m not bitter, um. [All laugh] But yeah, there’s that. The injury history is a little bit concerning um, but you know, again I think that he can be a an explosive player he’s a little bit streaky but he can be a pretty explosive player at times and be one of those those players that you can play, you know, you can play at five on five, you’re gonna put—play him on the power play, he’s gonna play in overtime if they do three-on-three and so he’s, you know, he’s a shooter and he’s a high volume guy, so that’s kind of what you have to expect.

JN: Yeah.

RP: That’s what LA needs. They need a shooter because it was one thing that I was griping about to James, I think, in our post-mortem. I was like, [emphatically] they didn’t shoot the puck! They got into the offensive zone and they just kind of looked at each other and go, “What do we do now?”

BB: [laughs] Yeah.

RP: Go to the net! Go to the… [Robyn sighs]

BB: Just go there. Yeah, yeah going to the net seems to be a really foreign concept to some teams.

JN: Yeah, I mean well, I’m comparing some just stats right now and like statistically he’s kind of on pace with Jeff Carter when we traded Jeff Carter before he exploded for a million goals with Pittsburgh.

BB: Right, of course, that’s how it goes.

JN: Yeah, of course but like I mean... I’m looking at a guy like Arvidsson. I see him as a guy who can play the second line left wing, you know, maybe you put him on the first line left side, you can kind of flip flop he and Alex Iafallo, Kempe can move to the right side, maybe Trevor Moore gets a look maybe, you know, Kaliyev gets a more permanent look as well…

BB: He should.

JN: Yeah, he scored a lot.

BB: It was awesome.

JN: Same with Byfield, same with Turcotte, same with Rasmus Kupari, we have a lot of… lot of young guys—

BB: Yep.

JN: —it’s just gonna be a matter of working them into the lineup and I think with Arvidsson... we... I mean, he still averaged half a point a game last year.

BB: Mm-hmm.

JN: You know, he had 10 goals, 15 assists over 50 games. And he shot a 6.6% last year.

BB: Yep.

JN: Like... That’s way down from his normal year like... We…

BB: I think everybody was, yeah.

JN: Yeah, I mean, you know comparatively the Kings’ shooting percentage like if… if... I mean Jeff Carter shot 6.8%.

BB: Yup.

JN: You know, he—you know, Austin Wagner shot 6% and Kings fans are going to groan so hard when they hear 6% because they’re gonna go, “wow that seems high for Austin Wagner.”

BB: Yeah [chuckles], yeah, as I say Dustin Brown had a very sustainable 13, so…

JN: Yeah, I mean he did well, you know on the power plays where he made a lot of his goals. Because I mean, he-he was great this year on the power play. I think having... A second option on the power play is something that the Kings didn’t have for a lot of the year. It was a lot of, you know, Kopitar makes a pass to the point, shot, rebound Dustin Brown scores.

BB: Right.

JN: And when Dustin Brown was playing hurt and then ultimately left the line-up, the power play tanked hard and Arvidsson is a guy who can really be a second option on the other side of the net.

BB: I was just getting ready to say that. He-he’s the perfect guy to fill that exact role that you just said: to be there to clean up rebounds, that’s kind of his been his MO. I remember I was talking about how him being a shooter, a volume shooter, so last season per 60 just all situations average up... he was about 20-20 shot attempts per game—or per 60 and-and about almost uh almost 11 shots per 60 and that’s you know, that’s five more shot attempts than Jeff Carter had who led the led the Kings and right about the same amount of shots per 60 which also you know led to Kings for Jeff Carter. So I mean, he’s that kind of a guy that you know, he’s probably not as... He’s not as well-rounded as a Jeff Carter would be but, he’s gonna give you that volume and and probably more and more so you may you may regret saying that you need they need more of that because he will provide that for you. You know, if he finds his shot I think you know, you’ve got a guy who can easily give you 20, 25 goals, but he’s got to stay healthy and he’s gotta get over that hump from the last two years.

RP: It’s interesting about the-the health factor because you know it in our division, in the Kings’ division, they play the Golden Knights like 12 times. Okay, it’s like five but still they play the Golden Knights five times in a season and they’re gonna play them... pretty much—pretty close back-to-back and then they also play the Ducks and the Ducks play them dirty—the Kings dirty—

BB: Yeah, they play everybody dirty.

RP: — they play the Sharks, the Sharks play them dirty; they play-they play the Blues like four times in a year. I don’t know if he’s gonna have much chance just because these teams are... shall I say... historically... line pushers.

BB: Yeah. I mean, I will say yes, you’re-you’re right, especially talking about Anaheim. But you know, he’s not going to be playing the Blues, you know, as many times a year as he was. He’s not gonna be playing Dallas, you know. There-there’s, you know, I think there’s opportunities, you know all over. Again, there’s there’s very few teams that I will say whole cloth that I think are pretty dirty with the exception of one that I just mentioned but um…

RP: Um, Vegas hello… Like...

BB: Yeah, them too. But, I’m just more taking shots at Anaheim because I know my audience.

JN: Ha!

BB: Well and also, I have a personal dislike of them, too.

RP: Fair enough.

BB: Yeah… All the people, the fans that I interact with are all very nice. But you know, again, I say that like all the fans… I mean, I remember what the Western Conference Finals looked like when they were like half the arena was filled at puck drop. [James snickers] Yeah, anyway, sorry I’m done. Well I-I’ll wait for more but I’ll put some space between it. But yeah, I mean... I think that,you know,  especially I think maybe with with with John Hynes coming in last year, I think that helps contribute to Arvidsson becoming a better—a little bit more well-rounded. You know, more defensive responsibility, he’s not nearly as quick to jump on every possible turnover and you know be… be 60 feet away when you know the play is still happening. I think that helped a lot of players. I think I saw we saw a lot of players last year—you know, it didn’t show up necessarily on the scoreboard but a lot of players kind of had their games tweaked and I think a lot of it was for the better just because it takes a long time to get that Laviolette stink off the players. I mean, look at Kevin Fiala, you know, so... Yeah... So yeah, I mean, it hurts. Again, it hurts to see. He’s a fan favorite. But it’s also a move that I don’t think really surprised most Nashville people. I know especially with the Seattle draft. I mean, I think that was the main reason this movie was made because it allows them… I think you know, they-they’re pretty safe to go with eight skaters now if they do intend on keeping all four defensemen, you know. Who knows? Because, you know, just felt like six months ago that with Mattias Ekholm was out the door and it was a sure thing and he was like the glue guy all year because he’s only defenseman that didn’t get injured for more than two games. And so you know, they’ll keep those four and then you know, they’ll probably protect Forsberg, Järnkrok, one of Duchene or Johansen. I’m guessing that probably will protect Duchene just because they just signed that big deal. They may, you know kind of dangle Johanseon out there, but I don’t know that Seattle will will take the bait on that one.

JN: And then Colton Sissons.

BB: Yes and then Colton Mr. Seven Year Deal himself, Colton Sissons.

RP: [sarcastically] Who doesn’t want Colton Sissons?

BB: He’s, you know. I know his-his contract is pretty small. He’s one of those kind of eternal third, fourth line centers. He’s good defensively, you know. Yes it’s a seven yea r deal but it’s $2.8 million. It’s-it’s whatever, it’s fine.

JN: I mean Kings fans would have lost their mind of Trevor Lewis had signed that contract five years ago.

BB: [laughs] Yeah.

JN: You know, we would have been loving it.

BB: Yeah.

RP: Mr. Underrated himself.

BB: Right. You know and they’ve got Luke Kunin who they got in the trade, you know if they re-sign Mikael Granlund, which I believe, is kind of… I think that all of the rumors that’s pointed towards that. So it gives them a little bit more options because honestly, the seven and three protection... there’s not there’s not seven forwards worth protecting that-that will be taken, you know. If they want to take... If they want to take Colton Sissons or, you know, somebody like that or they want to take a the fifth defenseman that some people are agreeing for like Alexandre Carrier just played his first full basically full year in the NHL, let them do it. If that’s what happens... Hey that’s that’s okay, I’ll take that. So, I think that’s kind of where this move came from. I think this he was a player that, you know, again like in three years, it’s how’s his production going to be and you know, what will be more valuable immediately? Those picks or-or his production over the next three seasons? I think it’s pretty, you know, clears up space and it got more-more picks that come out. I think they’ve got six picks in the first four rounds this year, so I think that definitely helps.

JN: Yeah and I mean Nashville, we’ve seen you guys swing for the fences this last few years. David Poile has been a buyer at the deadline and it’s... This seems like a good time to pivot. This seems like something that, you know, the Kings held on for one or two years too long before making this kind of a trade.

BB: Mm-hmm.

JN: And it-it seems prudent to say the least.

BB: Yeah. I’d say—it’s something a lot of people were, you know, not too happy about the return. Again, I get that. But I kind of told... I said to people I said, “you know, yeah, it’s not, you know, it’s not great, but, you know, if they had pivoted and started rebuilding, retooling, whatever you want to call it two years ago, like they should have, you know, imagine the return for Viktor Arvidosson two years ago.” You know, that would have been... It would’ve been at least a first and something else, you know. And... It’s just one of those things that they have to see if, you know, if they... If it’s not too late to do this because they still have those—they have some pieces, the defense core is basically there. So, you know, it’s all about if they’re going to be able to-to piece together something new with-with the forward group and I think last season was a good time to kind of watch that because they got a lot of lot of the AHL, junior guys in there playing. You know, Eeli Tolvanen had a fantastic season, Yakov Trenin and um... You know, a lot of guys like that there’s always there’s Philip Tomasino, you know, who’s just sitting, waiting. He—I don’t think he’s ever going back to Oshawa because he played for Chicago in the AHL this year and just... He was, I think like third in the AHL in rookie scoring.

JN: Yeah. Tomasino... Because uh we know him because he played on that line for so many years in Niagara with Akil Thomas and like... I mean Tomasino... It-it... He’s going to be a good freaking player.

BB: He’s the he’s the real deal.

JN: Yeah.

BB: Yeah. And you know, yeah it’s funny though cuz I feel I feel a little bit bad because Oshawa gave up a ton of stuff to get him and he played that second half of that year, then last season was cancelled and I don’t, yeah, I don’t see him—there’s no reason for him to go and play in the juniors again. I think I’m pretty certain that he’s gonna make he’s gonna make the team out of camp this season so…

JN: I think there’s definitely a role for him. I mean, I… The guy can kind of... He can do a lot, he’s a smart player, heads up player. I’m excited to see what you can do at the NHL level.

BB: It’s nice to have like that exciting forward prospect one or two of them in Nashville because you know—

JN: It’s been a while.

BB: Yeah. You got you’ve got Tolvanen, who who’s really, you know, he’s kind of... He’s... He didn’t... He’s not... You know, a lot of people said like he’s just a shooter, he’s just gonna be another Ovechkin type which... you know—

RP: So?

BB: Yeah, no, well, nobody is but—

JN: Well who wouldn’t want an Ovechkin-type player?

BB: That’s true.

RP: [simultaneously with James and Bryan] No, but that’s-that’s what I’m saying. Like okay, he’s gonna be Ovechkin Light. I’m trying to see the problem here.

[James and Bryan laugh]

JN: Puts up 45 goals instead of 50!

BB: [chuckling] Yeah, right?

RP: No, he’s useless!

BB: Yeah. I don’t think, I don’t think that’s possible in Nashville. I’m pretty sure there’s a goal scoring [force]field.

[James and Robyn laugh]

BB: I think the only person who’s ever been able to be successful at scoring goals in Nashville was Jeff Carter ironically, so... I think—I believe... I-I checked this last year, last off-season, but I’m pretty certain he’s still like the all-time leading goal scorer against Nashville if I remember correctly, which is crazy.

JN: Man, it might be. I feel like Patric Hörnqvist in his time with the Predators was so good at winning one-nothing and two-to-one games against the Kings.

[Robyn sighs]

BB: Yeah. Yeah one-nothing and two-to-one games, that’s the that’s the brand. That’s the Nashville brand, baby.

RP: well, it’s funny because…

JN: Those games were... They were brutal.

[James and Bryan laugh]

RP: Well Jonathan Quick always has a losing record against the Predators, but Jonathan Benier, when he was with the Kings, he had a winning record against the Predators. It was...

BB: Look at that!

RP: It was very strange.

JN: Yeah, it is weird, and... Ultimately Bryan, I mean what... What would you want Kings fans to know about Viktor Arvidsson? Who are we getting, how should we treat him, what should we expect from him?

BB: All right, yeah. First of all, I think it has been established that my name is “B-ry,” so I’ll thank you to address me as such.

[James and Robyn laugh]

JN: [sarcastically] Well pardon, me, Professor “B-ry”.

BB: Yeah, that nickname I’ve never heard before today. No, you’re getting a guy who… Again, he’s a quick, he’s a small guy, you know that’s gonna give you a little bit of concern for his durability. He’s a he’s a shooter first and foremost; he can... He can play a little bit of an extra roll, you know, getting in front of the net. I think that would be good for him to do that. He’s gotten better defensively. I think the last two years are his best defensive years in probably the last six or seven seasons. He is a fantastic person. Kind of quiet, you know, he’s not gonna be a talkative guy during interviews, but he did a lot of a lot of work around here charity-wise. He ran the... Yannick Weber’s old charity for... I can’t... It’s... I’m coming up blank... It was for dogs, like getting rescue dogs and things like that, you know. So he’s a really great guy you’re not gonna have any issue with him playing dirty or being one of those types [unintelligible] guys maybe you know, he tweets something, you’re like, “[sighs] great okay.” You know, he’s he’s pretty quiet on those fronts. So I think you’re getting a really good player and he’s real fun to watch. I mean, this is a good move for Los Angeles in my opinion.

RP: I like it. James any—

BB: I don’t like it as much, but yeah.

RP: Well, I’m hoping that he’s the type of culture add that the Kings need instead of going for a certain white supremacist’s best friend who, unfortunately, ended up on the Kings.

BB: Yeah.

JN: Yeah!

BB: I wasn’t gonna mention it.

RP: Well, I mean... So they… [sighs] I have to rehash this because the Kings have been saying for the last few years that they are concerned about—actually they’ve been saying this since Dean Lombardi’s time. They want specific culture add guys, but then they go out and make that trade and it’s like, “[sighs] What?” I know what you’re trying to do in theory, but at the same time it basically is kind of a slap in the face to your Black players and to like any future colored players who happen to join your team. Like... Sure we’re gonna say that culture is important to us, but then we are going to go out and get this guy who is very likely a white supremacist light.

BB: Mmmhmm... Yeah, it’s no good. And yeah... I mean. We haven’t quite had the same type of concern, you know. There’s been the issues with with players like Austin Watson and and Nick Cousins. But, you know, thankfully the only you know one that I know of with... just a tinge of racist thinking is ole Mike Fisher who is still here around town.

RP: Oh gosh.

BB: Pallin’ around with Candace Owens apparently recently, so that’s cool.

RP: That’s…

BB: And they love him. He does… He still hosts team-related events because you know got to have that wife in there to sing national anthem.

JN: Wait—is this Shane Doan we’re talking about?

RP: No.

[Bryan laughs]

RP: The Nashville Sh— [pauses] Damn it, James!

[James and Bryan laugh]

RP: I always fall for it. Every time, James.

JN: I’m sorry. Um... Man. I… I’m so excited for Viktor Arvidsson. I’m excited for the rest of the off-season for the LA Kings. I think this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of trades that Rob Blake makes. I mean, he is... The Kings still have more than 15 million dollars in cap space to play with. Um but… You know, we see this is the time to get aggressive and I’m excited for what the Kings pull off for the rest of the-the off season. Please ignore my crying dog in the background.

BB: Awww.

RP: I didn’t hear anything until you pointed it out.

[James laughs]

BB: Please tell your dog I love it.

JN: Uh he’s deaf, so I can’t.

BB: Okay, sign it then, I’m sorry.

[Bryan and James laughs]

RP: give your dog a hug and a kiss from both of us.

JN: How do you sign “B-ry”?

RP: If you have to ask, you’re never gonna know.

[All laugh]

BB: Yeah, no. I really appreciate…

RP: Uhhh B… ry… I don’t know.

BB: I wouldn’t even bother. It’s just a middle finger to me, that’s what it is.

[James and Robyn laugh]

BB: That’s that’s how life’s been lately, so yeah. [laughs]

RP: I feel that.

BB: Yeah, no. I appreciate it. Thank you guys very much. I was very excited when when you when you when you DMed me because it’s like yes, that’s all kind of hopin. Because again, I love being on podcasts, I just don’t like hosting them because I end up having to edit and you know, you guys know. Really appreciate it again. Nothing but good things have resulted from me being on on the podcast, so hopefully hopefully that continues.

RP: Well thank you again for joining us tonight, “B-ry.” “Sir Bastin.” “Mr. On The Forecheck Math Person…”

BB: Yup, certainly.

RP: I ran out of nicknames. Bryan, again, thank you for joining us and hopefully everything works out with Viktor Arvidsson and the Predators’ shiny new picks.

BB: Yeah, um, I’m excited to see what happens, you know. It’s going to be interesting. It’s been a long time since Nashville didn’t have Viktor Arvidsson on the team. So it’ll be interesting for sure. But yeah, thank you so much for having me on. It’s been a real pleasure.

RP: Always.