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2010 NHL Free Agency: Predators reportedly ink Patric Hornqvist to three-year, $9.25M deal

Aug 24, 2010, 12:50 PM EDT

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Thumbnail image for hornqvistscoresonkipper.jpgOne of the bigger restricted free agent contract negotiations seems to have concluded, as Patric Hornqvist and the Nashville Predators reportedly agreed on a three-year, $9.25 million contract. On the Forecheck passed along that note from its original source, Aftonbladet.se.

The Nashville Predators have agreed to a new three-year, $9.25 million contract with star winger Patric Hornqvist, who led the team with 30 goals last season. Aftonbladet.se (try the Google Translater) posted the story this morning, and a Predators spokesman has confirmed it.

The deal will pay him $3 million in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and $3.25 million in 2012-13.

Hornqvist was listed by NHL.com as one of seven players who need to prove that their breakout seasons weren’t a “fluke” this year. There’s a good reason for that. In his first full season, Hornqvist seemingly came out of nowhere to score 30 goals and 51 points overall to become one of the Predators greatest scoring threats.

One might assume that the contract Atlanta Thrashers winger Bryan Little signed yesterday might have had an impact on the negotiations between Hornqivst and the Predators. Both players showed some serious scoring ability while not having a clear track record that they’d be able to duplicate their best results but each forward is young enough to inspire hope that they might indeed make good on past results.

It’s always a bit of a risk to pay a guy coming off of an unexpectedly good contract year, but the Predators need Hornqvist. The team now has 22 players signed with about $12 million in free cap space. It’s safe to say they’ll also sign promising defenseman Cody Franson too, so expect the Predators to have between $8 and $10 million left over, though that space will probably illustrate their self-imposed budget.

Overall, this is a pretty good deal with both sides, especially if Hornqvist isn’t just a flash in the pan.

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