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

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.

Memorial Cup champion goalie Appleby signs with Devils

Ken Appleby
The Canadian Press via AP
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Ken Appleby never got drafted, but his efforts during the New Jersey Devils’ training camp have earned him an entry-level contract, per the Bergen Record.

Although no team saw it fit to take him before the preseason, the 20-year-old is coming off of a very strong season. He had a 2.08 GAA and .924 save percentage in 50 games with the OHL’s Oshawa Generals. He went on to lead them to a Memorial Cup championship and earned the the Hap Emms Memorial Trophy as the tournament’s top goalie.

Appleby is the fifth goaltender the Devils have under contract after Cory Schneider, Keith Kinkaid, Scott Wedgewood, and Yann Danis. He’ll likely begin the season in the ECHL.

Alexandre Goulet and Jacob Sweeney also participated in the Devils’ training camp on an amateur tryout basis, but both of them have been released.

PHT Morning Skate: NHL stars weigh in on McDavid

Connor McDavid
The Canadian Press via AP
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Some of the NHL’s top players discuss Connor McDavid‘s potential and the hype surrounding him. (Toronto Sun)

While we’re on the subject, Wayne Gretzky recalls what it was like for him going into the NHL and what’s in store for McDavid. (Edmonton Sun)

Sam Gagner is about to start a key season in his career. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

It’s time for the Washington Capitals to make some tough calls, particularly when it comes to Derek Roy. (CSN Mid-Atlantic)

With Raffi Torres hearing scheduled for today, here’s a look back at his suspension history. (San Jose Mercury News)

The Chicago Blackhawks have gotten their championship rings. (NHL.com)