Predators sign Filip Forsberg to eight-year, $68 million contract extension

The Nashville Predators have agreed to terms on an eight-year contract extension with pending free agent Filip Forsberg worth $68 million, Sportsnet Elliotte Friedman reports.

The team announced the deal Saturday, locking Forsberg up before he can enter the open market when the NHL’s free agency opens next week. He is now under contract until 2030.

Forsberg, who turns 28 in August, is coming off the best season of his career. The native of Ostervala, Sweden set career highs with 42 goals, 42 assists and 84 points in just 69 games. Forsberg scored eight game-winning goals, one shy of nine in the 2016-17 season.

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

The Predators felt close enough to an extension with Forsberg that general manager David Poile opted to keep him rather than look to trade him.

Poile in June said he and the Forsberg camp have continued negotiations, although the general manager also has several backup plans. That included Forsberg possibly testing free agency, knowing that Nashville could offer him an eighth year versus seven by other teams if a contract is reached by July 13.

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

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

He finished 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 2015 NHL All-Star Game and scored the franchise’s first playoff hat-trick this season in Game 5 against Chicago in the first round.

Forsberg had two natural hat tricks in the space of three games between February 23 and 27, 2016 against Toronto and St. Louis. He was the first to do so in three games or less since Petri Skriko in back-to-back games in 1986 with Vancouver.

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