After a long summer of gnashing of teeth by Predators fans, the announcement finally came that the team had locked up Patric Hornqvist in a three-year deal worth $9.25 million. Cody Franson is now the only unsigned RFA for the Predators.
The deal is higher than expected with several equivalent players signing one and two year deals in the $2.5 million per year range but could turn out to be a steal for the Preds if Hornqvist continues to develop as he did the second half of last season.
The signing pushes the Predators into new territory with a cap hit over $47 million according to NHLnumbers.com with Franson and a second goalie to be added to the figure.
Here is the full release from the Predators...
Preds Sign Hornqvist to 3-Year Deal
Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed forward Patric Hornqvist to a three-year, $9.25 million contract.
Hornqvist, 23 (1/1/87), became the first Nashville draft pick to score 30 goals for the club, leading the team and registering the fourth highest total in franchise history in the category in 2009-10. The Sollentuna, Sweden native tied a franchise record and tied for second in the NHL in game-winning goals (8) last season and also led the club in power-play goals (10). In 2009-10, he also tied for the team lead in points (30g-21a-51pts) and set a franchise record for shots in a season (275).
Hornqvist experienced a 28-goal increase from 2008-09, making him just the second player in the last nine seasons to experience such an increase (minimum 20 games in the first season). The 5-11, 186-pound forward had the fewest NHL games experience (108) and the lowest average ice time (15:41) among the NHL’s Top-20 goal scorers in 2009-10. He posted five multi-goal games, tied for the third-highest single-season total in franchise history and paced all Nashville skaters in plus/minus rating (+18).
Nashville’s seventh choice, 230th overall (seventh round), in the 2005 Entry Draft, Hornqvist is the ninth of 43 players selected with the final pick of an entry draft (modern era, since 1969) to go on to play in the NHL. He is one of only three players picked last overall to play at least 100 NHL games and score at least 20 goals. Hornqvist also skated in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, playing in all four games for his native Sweden.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass