With the door just barely closed on one of the worst seasons in franchise history, the Nashville Predators have wasted no time in making sure one of their core players stays with the team for the foreseeable future. On Tuesday, the Predators signed forward Patric Hornqvist to a five-year, $21.25 million contract. He has spent his entire career with the Predators and ranks in the top ten in franchise history in goals and power play goals, and getting him locked up early on is a great move by a franchise in need of some good news.
Injuries limited Hornqvist to just 24 games this season, and he managed just four goals and 14 points. While no forward on the Predators had a great season, Hornqvist showed flashes of scoring potential before being sidelined. He led the Predators in goal scoring during the 2011-12 season, as he found the back of the net 27 times. During the 2009-10 season, he became only the fourth player in franchise history to score 30 goals in a season. It’s nice to finally see the Predators keep one of their veteran players in the fold, after seeing Ryan Suter and Martin Erat depart in the past year. Hornqvist, Shea Weber, Mike Fisher and David Legwand form a core group that can help the team rebound next season as each of those players is capable of leading offensively as well as off the ice.
The Predators also have a lot of young talent working its way into the lineup, and should be back in contention next season once their ailing forwards have healed. Now that Hornqvist is signed, the team can turn its attention to the remaining seven forwards and three defensemen who are set to be free agents this summer.