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Predators Looking to Lock In Ekholm and Forsberg Long Term

The Nashville Predators are hoping to soon have forward Filip Forsberg and defenceman Mattias Ekholm signed to long-term extensions.

At the midway point of the 2020-21 season, the Nashville Predators were struggling. The team was nowhere near a playoff position and as a result it was rumored they were shopping Mattias Ekholm, despite the fact he still had a year left on his contract. Soon after, everything changed. There was also chatter that perhaps the Preds might consider moving Filip Forsberg, even though it was always known that it would take a hefty price to pry him loose.

Related: Juuse Saros Signs 4-Yr Extension With Predators

The Predators got red hot, thanks in large part due to some great goaltending from Juuse Saros, and were able to go on a big run that resulted in a postseason berth. Though they were unable to advance out of the first round versus the Carolina Hurricanes, it gave general manager David Poile some new-found confidence in this roster. As a result, he is no longer looking to move Ekholm or Forsberg, but re-sign both to contract extensions in the near future.

Ekholm, 31, has spent his entire 586 game career with the Predators. He has become a top end two way defender over the years, and continued that this past season with six goals and 23 points in 48 games while also being tasked with shutting down opposing teams top lines. His very team friendly six-year, $22.5 million deal is set to expire after this season and he should be in for a massive raise on his average annual value.

Forsberg, 27, has played all seven seasons of his career in Nashville after being acquired in the lopsided Martin Erat trade with the Washington Capitals. Despite losing significant time due to an upper-body injury he had a solid season when healthy with 12 goals and 32 points in 39 contests. He has been the Predators most consistent offensive producer for a long stretch of time and will likely be in line for a slight raise from his current deal that pays him $6 million annually.

Mattias Ekholm Filip Forsberg Nashville Predators
Mattias Ekholm Filip Forsberg Nashville Predators

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Since being a serious contender through the mid 2010’s, the Predators have taken a step back in recent years and are a middling franchise at this point. If they are able to get both Ekholm and Forsberg locked in long-term that gives them two very solid pieces moving forward, but more will have to be done, particularly up front, to turn them into a top NHL team once again.

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