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Filip Forsberg's Future Dominates Predators' Off-Season Speculation

The Nashville Predators have already made some noise this off-season, but it's Filip Forsberg's future that remains David Poile's off-season priority.
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Over two weeks have passed since the Nashville Predators were swept from this post-season's opening round by the Colorado Avalanche. Since then, general manager David Poile has signed head coach John Hynes to a two-year contract. However, it's Filip Forsberg's future that remains his off-season priority.

Cap Friendly shows Forsberg, 27, completing a six-year contract with an annual average value of $6 million. He enjoyed a career-best 42-goal, 84-point point performance in 69 games, putting him in line for a lucrative new deal with a substantial pay raise.

Following the Predators' early playoff exit, ESPN.com's Kristen Shilton pointed out that Poile opted to retain Forsberg for the postseason rather than shop him at the March trade deadline. However, the winger was held scoreless during that series with the Avalanche, leading Shilton to wonder what effect that could have upon contract negotiations.

Forsberg insisted his goal is to return with the Predators. He indicated there had been progress in contract talks during the season and expected further discussions going forward.

With $58 million invested in 17 players for 2022-23 and Forsberg the only unsigned core player, the Predators have sufficient cap space to pay him a big raise. On May 18, The Athletic's Adam Vingan cited Evolving Hockey's contract projection model indicating the winger could get an eight-year deal at $8.5-million annually from the Predators. On the open market, he could get $9.5 million on a seven-year deal.

Perhaps Forsberg will accept that extra year of job security over exploring the riches of the UFA market. That's assuming, of course, Poile is willing to pay him that much for that long. With two forwards in Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen already pulling in $8-million annually, he might not be comfortable paying Forsberg more than those two. 

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