Casual fans might not be familiar with Patric Hornqvist, yet he is one of the highest impact players waiting for a new contract via restricted free agency. We’ve debated whether or not he’ll make good on his breakthrough 09-10 season already, but the bottom line is that he managed to score 30 goals next season. Hornqvist and the Nashville Predators must find common ground this summer.
Thanks to some digging by George Malik, Dirk Hoag of the great Nashville Predators blog On the Forecheck notes that the team is close to coming to terms with Hornqvist.
Nashville fans are eager to see this get done, at a salary that won’t jeopardize other elements of the roster going forward. Comparable players have signed contracts over the last week or so, allowing the market to sort itself and make it easier for both sides to agree on a salary. That way, we can get back to important matters, like debating how many goals Hornqvist might score next season …
Hoag made an apt comparison between Hornqvist and Vancouver Canucks forward Mason Raymond, who avoided arbitration and signed a reasonable two-year, $5.1 million contract on Monday and ultimately suggested that the team should give Hornqvist a bit more. Hornqvist doesn’t have much of track record – he’s only played 108 regular seasons during two campaigns – so giving him more than two years would probably be risky.
At a Raymond-like compensation and term, Hornqvist would be rewarded nicely while the shorter term would give him added incentive to duplicate his previous efforts. We’ll let you know when the team signs him to a deal.