The two sides were apparently grinding away at a deal, but it is done and the Nashville Predators will retain the services of defenseman Mattias Ekholm. The veteran blueliner signed a four-year deal for $6.25 million per season on Wednesday.
Related: Canadiens Sign Nick Suzuki to 8-Year Extension
Ekholm wanted to stay in Nashville. There was talk this past season that he might be one of the key players moved at the NHL trade deadline but a trade never materialized as the Preds snuck into the playoffs. He talked a lot about his time with the organization over the off-season and maintained that he would want to leave if there was a way to work out an extension.
The Predators also wanted to keep him, but the question of what value might be out there in a deal seemed to stay out there until a couple of weeks ago when it appeared evident the two sides would come to an agreement. It became a matter of dollars and term.
As for how this contract will play out, Dom Luszczyszyn writes:
Mattias Ekholm is very good now, but at 31 his comp list is full of red flags. This deal could age quite poorly and I’m not exactly sure why Nashville signed it given the team’s current trajectory.
JFresh writes, “Ekholm is a top pair two-way defenceman whose defensive impact suddenly took a hit when he was re-cast as a puck-mover to play with Dante Fabbro.”
Fans in Nashville are hoping this deal works out as it’s an expense commitment to a player who has a lot to offer but time will tell for how long.
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