NHL: Predators signs Forsberg contract for 8 years, worth $68 million


Nashville Predators have re-signed Filip Forsberg for $68 million, an eight-year contract with an annual salary of $8.5 million.

The team announced the deal Saturday, putting Forsberg on lockdown before he can hit the open market when the NHL free agent opens next week. He is currently under contract until 2030.

Forsberg, who turns 28 in August, is having the best season of his career. The Ostervala, Swedish-born player hit the pinnacle of his career with 42 goals, 42 assists and 84 points in just 69 games. Forsberg had eight goals in the game, one conceded out of the nine he had in the 2016-17 season.

He ranks third in scoring for the Predators, behind captains Roman Josi and Matt Duchene, who set the franchise record for goals in a single season with 43.

Predator felt close enough to an extension with Forsberg that general manager David Poile chose to keep him rather than seek to trade him.

In June, Poile said he and Forsberg’s camp are continuing to negotiate, although GM also has some contingency plans in place. That includes the fact that Forsberg could test the agent for free, knowing that Nashville could offer him an eighth year versus seven for the other teams if the contract is struck by July 13.

The 10-year veteran played 566 games with Nashville after being acquired on April 3, 2013, in a deal that brought Martin Erat and Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals for an 11th pick overall in the year draft. 2012.

Forsberg has had 220 career goals and 249 assists for 469 points. He is about to have a season where he played the most games since 2016-17 when he played all 82 for the third consecutive season. Forsberg previously signed a six-year, $36 million extension in June 2016.

He placed fourth in the vote for Calder Trophy in 2014-15 and was named to the NHL All-round Rookie Team after leading Nashville with 26 goals and 63 points. He became the first Nashville player to score in the NHL All-Star Game in 2015 and got the franchise’s first hat trick in that season’s playoffs in Game 5 against Chicago in the first round.

Forsberg had two natural hat tricks in a three-game span from February 23 to February 27, 2016 against Toronto and St. Louis. He is the first man to do this in three games or less since Petri Skriko in consecutive games in 1986 against Vancouver.

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