By Ron Wynn
NASHVILLE, TN — The Nashville Predators decisively answered the question Saturday of how they would resolve the Filip Forsberg contract dilemma. They locked up the left wing for the next eight years and also made contractural concessions that general manager David Poile acknowledged they neither usually made nor really wanted to.
The new deal is for eight years and $64 million, giving Forsberg an $8.5 million per year contract. He could quite possibly have gotten more had the Predators allowed him to reach free agency, but that’s no longer a concern. The team also gave him both no-trade and no-movement clauses in the new deal. Forsberg gambled last season by letting his contract expire that he would have a big year and increase his value. That’s precisely what happened as the 10-year veteran had his best year, getting career highs in both goals and assists (42 each) for 84 points. Even more impressively, that came in just 69 games. Forsberg also had. eight game-winning goals, just one short of the nine he had in the 2016-17 season. at 28, he’ll most likely be career Predator.
Forsberg has played 566 games with the Predators. They acquired him April 3, 2013, in a trade that sent Martin Erat and Michael Latta to the Washington Capitals for the 11th pick overall in the 2012 draft.
Forsberg has 220 career goals and 249 assists for 469 points. He previously signed a six-year, $36 million extension in June 2016.
Forsberg was fourth in voting for the Calder Trophy in 2014-15 and was named to the NHL All-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 had the franchise’s first hat trick in that season’s playoffs in Game 5 against Chicago in the first round.
He also had two natural hat tricks in the span of three games between Feb. 23 and Feb. 27 in 2016 against Toronto and St. Louis. He was the first to do so in three or fewer games since Petri Skriko in consecutive games in 1986 with Vancouver.