The Nashville Predators and David Poile say they are doing everything they can to get star forward Filip Forsberg signed to a new contract.
But a recent report from Frank Seravalli with The Daily Faceoff indicates otherwise.
For context, the Forsberg contract negotiations have been stalled for several weeks. Initially, during the season, it seemed inevitable a deal would get done, as long as the dollar amount could be negotiated. Both sides indicated a clear desire to get it done. Poile has called signing Forsberg “Plan A” and Forsberg says he wants to be back in Nashville.
According to Seravalli’s report, the annual value of the contract is the sticking point, as you might expect. But it sounds like Forsberg’s camp is asking for a very reasonable dollar amount, which is surprising given how much of the leverage they have.
According to Daily Faceoff's @frank_seravalli, Filip Forsberg is asking the #Preds for a contract well below Roman Josi's $9.059 mil per season.— Nick Cole (@NickColeSports) June 27, 2022
"They didn't ask for 9, I can tell you that," he said on his latest DFO Rundown podcast. "…I think they're somewhere in the low 8s." pic.twitter.com/RXr6NfQ1GP
In the above linked podcast, Seravalli discusses the Forsberg negotiations. After the host inquires whether Forsberg is a “$9 million player”, Seravalli replies, “They didn’t ask for $9 million, I can tell you that. They are asking for well, I was told, well south of what Roman Josi makes. So [Josi’s] at $9.059…. I think they are somewhere in the low eights.”
The host of the show, echoing all our sentiments upon hearing this, replies “Yeah, well I don’t understand why that would be a hesitation in Nashville, that seems odd to me. That’s the one that doesn’t make sense to me.”
Forsberg report leads to less confidence in Poile getting this done
If Forsberg is asking for a contract with an average annual value “in the low eights” there is no reason David Poile shouldn’t agree to that. Eight million per year, or even a few hundred thousand above that, is an extremely reasonable contract number for Forsberg. You might even consider it a team friendly deal, as it’s been assumed for a number of months that Forsberg could get at least $9 million AAV on the market.
If this report is true, then David Poile is being the stubborn one. He’s like countering with the argument that the Predators are the only team that can give him eight years, meaning his overall total value would be more with Nashville, even if it’s less per year. Especially considering the tax breaks being in Tennessee. A seven year, $56 million contract in, say, Los Angeles, isn’t close to the same value as an eight year, $60 million contract in Tennessee.
There’s also the possibility that the money isn’t the issue anymore and it’s more about structure. Poile indicated this could be an issue last week, saying that bonuses (performance or otherwise) were in the negotiations. And of course, there’s the no-move clauses that Poile is always hesitant about.
Not offering trade protection to Forsberg when:— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) June 27, 2022
A) there are no plans for league expansion/x draft
B) he's the best fwd you've ever developed
C) it's market level or below AAV
D) you aren't even going to be the GM for 50% of the contract, so what do you care
But the most telling information in this Seravalli report? That Filip Forsberg is being honest about wanting to sign in Nashville.
If Forsberg were really wanting to test the market and see what other offers were out there, wouldn’t he be asking for an absurd amount from Nashville? $10 million or more per year, something like that?
Honestly, the fact that David Poile hasn’t agreed to sign Forsberg at a contract number in the low eights, when that’s what’s being offered, tells me this is not likely to get done. Something in Poile’s brain is convincing him that Forsberg isn’t worth $8 million per year, which is kind of infuriating. A glance at the other forwards that make $8 million (or close to it) shows that Forsberg is at least on par with that valuation, and very likely above it.
Here are some other NHL forwards with AAVs "in the low 8's":— Alex Daugherty (@AlexDaugherty1) June 27, 2022
Are you telling me Forsberg is offering the same value as those guys for 8 YEARS and you are turning it down?
And you’ll notice that Poile is directly responsible for two of those names on the list. Does Poile honestly think Matt Duchene and Ryan Johansen are worth $8 million per year and Filip Forsberg isn’t?
If so, he’s lost touch the NHL market and confidence in his ability to get this done is at an all time low.
— Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports —