Left wing Filip Forsberg and defenseman Mattias Ekholm have spent their entire NHL careers with the Nashville Predators. However, uncertainty hangs over their futures entering the final season of their respective contracts.
The 31-year-old Ekholm told The Tennessean's Paul Skrbina he wants to stay in Nashville, remaining hopeful his agent and general manager David Poile can work out a new deal “I'd rather have it done yesterday,” he said.
Forsberg, however, told Robby Stanley of 102.5 The Game Nashville he's in no rush to sign. “I mean I still have a full year. I don't know, I feel like you have to play your contract out, “ he said. The 27-year-old winger also said he loved Nashville, believing the Predators have “a great opportunity to make something great” now and going forward.
Ekholm was the subject of trade speculation last season but it died down as the Predators surged in the standings leading up to the trade deadline. Forsberg, meanwhile, surfaced in recent conjecture as some pundits mull his role on a roster undergoing what Poile called a “competitive rebuild”.
The cost of re-signing both will also determine if they remain in Nashville beyond this season. Skrbina believes Ekholm could get $6-million annually. In August, The Athletic's Adam Vingan suggested Forsberg could probably command upwards of $8 million.
Cap Friendly indicates the Predators have $47.8 million invested in 11 players for 2022-23. That's plenty of room to re-sign Ekholm and Forsberg but it would eat up considerable cap space. One or both could feature more prominently in the rumor mill if the Predators are out of playoff contention by the March 21 trade deadline.