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Josi: Seven-year deal won’t impact motivation

Jun 12, 2013, 11:01 AM EST

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Jeff Petry #2 of the Edmonton Oilers stops in front of Roman Josi #59 of the Nashville Predators at the Bridgestone Arena on March 25, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(March 24, 2013 - Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

It’s not often that you see a team throw $28 million at a defenseman that only has 100 games worth of NHL experience.

Roman Josi, 23, took a step forward in 2013, but Nashville inked him to a seven-year contract in anticipation of what he might become as opposed to his past accomplishments.

If he develops as projected, his $4 million annual cap hit will look like a steal in a couple years, especially after the ordeals they went through with defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter. But that’s only if he develops as projected.

Most players that get rewarded with this kind of security have a bit more on their resume, but Josi doesn’t think this deal will lead to complacency.

“I’m playing because I’m having fun playing hockey,” Josi told The Tennessean. “I’m excited for next season and the money is one part of the business, but the main (reason) you play hockey is to be successful and have fun with it, and I’m motivated to do the same things this summer and work hard.”

Meanwhile, Josi is in Switzerland with fellow NHL blueliners Mark Streit and Yannick Weber. He’s working on strengthening and his nutritional habits as he gets ready for the first year of his new contract.

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