NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2009, the Nashville Predators began their rebuilding process Tuesday by agreeing to a long-term deal with forward Patric Hornqvist.
Hornqvist signed a five-year, $21.25 million contract to stay in Nashville, where he has spent his five-year NHL career and has emerged as one of the Predators' top offensive weapons.
"I think we have something really good here going," Hornqvist said at a news conference announcing the signing. "Obviously we know we had a bad season this year. I think everybody is going to come back and improve and have a run in the playoffs next year. "
Injuries limited the 26-year-old Hornqvist to four goals and 10 assists in 24 games this season, as the Predators scored a league-low 111 goals. After advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs in 2011 and 2012, Nashville went 16-23-9 this year to finish below .500 for the first time since 2002-03.
"We absolutely missed his play this year with the injuries that he had," Predators general manager David Poile said.
When he's healthy, Hornqvist is one of the Predators' top offensive players.