You may have heard of a little music festival called CMA Fest happening in Nashville this weekend. But you may not have heard that upcoming free agent Filip Forsberg made an appearance last night.
Filip Forsberg, who is still unsigned for the 2022-23 season and will become a free agent on July 13th if the Preds cannot re-sign him, has been seen at many sports and music events this summer. So it’s no surprise that the one taking place just down the road from his home would be on the itinerary.
And at some point, Forsberg found his way on stage at Nissan Stadium.
Here’s full video of his appearance, with two off-camera announcers naturally asking him about his contract situation.
From a source, here's the full Filip Forsberg video from his appearance at CMA Fest last night.— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) June 12, 2022
It's not too spicy, but his tone and responses (and non-responses) are worth noting. #Preds pic.twitter.com/JyQPxaMdwP
For those that want it, here’s a transcript:
“Nobody does it better, look at this. Nissan Stadium, unbelievable crowd. The artists [have] been on fire all night. I just want everybody to raise their glasses. I’m obviously not an original Nashvillian, but being from Sweden, thank you guys for taking care of me so well. And, as we say in Sweden…Skol!”
After that, a man asks Forsberg if “he likes being in Nashville” to which he replies “I do,” then adding, “Yeah… it’s a heck of a place.”
He’s then asked if he’s “official yet” and if he’s “signed back with the Preds yet.”
Forsberg doesn’t respond, but just smiles with the microphone in hand. Then the Nissan Stadium crowd starts chanting “Re-sign Forsberg” after which Forsberg replies “thank you guys, let’s do it.”
Interpreting Filip Forsberg’s appearance
The final “let’s do it” could be interpreted a number of ways, but honestly in the context it sounds more like “here’s your next act” as opposed to “yes, lets get me a contract to sign.”
But I think the initial quote, where he thanks Nashville for treating him well, tell us a little more.
From the outset of this contract situation, Filip Forsberg has maintained his desire to stay in Nashville. He says he loves the city, the fans, his teammates, and the organization. David Poile has said equally that the team has a desire to keep Forsberg in town, even going so far as to call it “Plan A” of this offseason.
But as of yet, a deal hasn’t gotten done. The disagreement, as is so often the case, appears to be over the final dollar amount.
While Forsberg’s statements during the season indicate a desire to stay, everything since the season ended suggests it’s not that simple. His Game 4 post-game “solo skate” that he brushed off as just being appreciative of the fans. Then his end of the year comments suggesting that he is taking the direction of the organization into account when making his decision. Now this very public “thank you” to Nashville on stage at the city’s biggest music fest.
If he was planning on re-signing in Nashville, would thanking the city for “taking care of him so well” be a part of his comments? Wouldn’t he say something more like “I can’t wait for next season” or even “I can’t wait to bring a Stanley Cup to Nashville,” to rile up the inebriated masses?
Or maybe he’s just a really grateful dude, and thanking a huge crowd of people for being fans of the game is just what came naturally to him.
Overall, his tone is fairly benign here. He doesn’t really indicate any particular direction in this video. In short, we don’t know anything more about the contract situation now than we did two days ago.
But given the very little amount of information we have about the Filip Forsberg-Nashville Predators standoff, appearances at a country music festival will have to quench our thirst for information.