Speaking with the media at training camp on Thursday, newly acquired Viktor Arvidsson is excited to play with the LA Kings captain.
Not long after the calendar flipped to July, LA Kings general manager Rob Blake wasted little time to improve the roster, sending two draft picks to Nashville in exchange for Viktor Arvidsson. The Swedish winger is three years removed from a 34-goal season, although the last couple of years have been somewhat disappointing.
However, the 28-year-old is hoping to regain form in Los Angeles and playing alongside one of the game’s best puck facilitators in Anze Kopitar.
“He’s won the cup twice, and he knows what it takes to be a winner and he’s incredibly smart and a really good player,” Arvidsson said of Kopitar ahead of Thursday’s opening day of training camp. “So, yeah, I’m honored to play with him and it’s gonna be fun.”
The Skelleftea, Sweden, native spent the first seven years of his NHL career with the Predators. Over that time, he developed a reputation for being one of the best goal-scorers in the National Hockey League, highlighted by back-to-back 61-point campaigns.
Now entering an unfamiliar atmosphere and with three years left on his contract, Arvidsson admitted the transition was a little weird.
“Yeah, of course, it’s different,” he said of being in a new uniform. “And, yeah, I’ve been there long, but I’m looking forward to this, and this is what I’m focused on now. I’m trying to forget what happened and just look forward.”
Of course, Arvidsson isn’t the only new face in the Kings locker room. Aside from the acquisitions of veteran players in Phillip Danault and Alexander Edler, the Kings have a lot of youth in this year’s training camp, hungry to steal an NHL roster spot.
Still, the moves to sign Danault to a six-year contract and Edler to a one-year deal, combined with acquiring a guy like Viktor Arvidsson, the LA Kings have one goal in mind for this season, and that is to make the postseason. Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar were vocal in the year-end interviews for the front office to improve the roster.
And in arguably the weakest division in all of hockey, the Kings just might find themselves looking at their first postseason berth since the 2017-18 season. Of course, Arvidsson returning to a 30-goal player will go a long way toward achieving that.
“I always want to have a better season every year. And of course, making the playoffs is huge. We’re here to win and I’m here to win. I want to bring my experience and what I can bring to the table,” Arvidsson concluded.