Predators, Filip Forsberg playing the ultimate chess game | Nashville Predators

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It looks like Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is trying to make the most of the only leverage he has in his contract negotiations with forward Filip Forsberg.

The Predators are the only team that can offer Forsberg an eight-year contract under the league’s collective bargaining agreement, so it appears Poile remains hopeful that Forsberg will accept Nashville’s offer, which could have annual value. lower average than other teams. can offer him on the open market but might be worth more money overall due to an extra year.

If the Predators offered Forsberg an eight-year, $66 million contract ($8.25 AAV), then another open-market team that can only offer seven years would have to give Forsberg at least $9.43 million. dollars a year to equal the same amount in Nashville dollars. to offer.

Reports of the NHL draft in Montreal indicate that a contract worth $8.5 million a year could be enough to conclude an agreement. Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun reported Monday that the Predators are offering an $8.25 million AAV while Forsberg and his agent are likely asking for $8.75 million.

“Is this thing really going to explode to over half a million a year?” LeBrun asked. “It feels like both sides have dug in their last positions.”

Forsberg remained convinced that he wants to return to Nashville. He probably saw enough in the Predators’ surprise playoff appearance last season to persuade him that Nashville is a growing team. The recent trade for defender Ryan McDonagh was also presumably another bona fide show of Poile’s commitment to winning now.

But Forsberg also saw close friend Viktor Arvidsson traded last offseason in the fourth year of the seven-year contract he signed with the Predators in 2017, and similarly with Ryan Ellis, who only extended two years on his contract before being dispatched. in Philadelphia.

If Forsberg is willing to commit to the Predators through the 2029-30 season, it’s understandable that he would want some form of no-move or no-trade clause to prevent the same thing from happening to him.

A no-move clause would ensure Forsberg cannot be traded, waived or sent to the AHL. A no-trade would ensure that Forsberg could not be traded to any team unless he approved of it.

“We don’t like to do that”, Poile told reporters to the draft of his reluctance to hand out no-move clauses. “But Forsberg did this as part of the negotiations and it will be part of his contract.”

The Predators and Forsberg have until midnight July 12 to reach an agreement where the 27-year-old forward will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

Poile remained adamant that if the Predators and Forsberg part ways, he has multiple backup plans in place, plus approximately $18.1 million in cap space, to add more points to Nashville’s top six.

“We’re not going to be left out,” Poile said. “We’re going to have Filip or we’re going to do our best to be busy on the 13th. If it’s not done by the 12th, he’s free to go wherever he wants, so the 13th is our opportunity. , but the first priority, always our priority, our No. 1 is to try to sign him.”

Follow Michael Gallagher on Twitter @MGsports_

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