Nashville Predators captain Roman Josi finally got his pay raise Tuesday, signing an eight-year contract worth $72.242 million.
“It’s something that obviously Roman wanted very badly and something that we covet very much,” general manager David Poile said. “But for Roman, I think this is a unique and special situation for someone that’s our captain, someone that’s going to be here for, I think, the rest of their career.”
The deal keeps Josi a Predator through 2027-2028 and makes him one of the highest-paid defenceman in the NHL, a distinction he’s thus far avoided by carrying a humble $4 million annual cap hit since 2013-2014.
Josi will carry a hit of $9.059 million a year starting next season, 11.2 percent of Nashville’s cap. And the cherry on top of this deal is a full no-movement clause that expires in 2028. That’s a rarity for Poile.
The Predators have made their intentions clear and Josi is unequivocally their man on defence. This is the team that’s traded away Shea Weber, another defenceman and captain, and P.K. Subban over the course of the last few years.
Josi became the team’s eighth captain in franchise history in September of 2017 and has quietly but assuredly put together an impressive career. He is one of just four defenceman to score at least 40 points in each of his last six seasons.
With Josi inked, the Predators have their core signed through at least 2021-2022. That includes Ryan Johansen, Viktor Arvidsson, Filip Forsberg, and defenceman Ryan Ellis. With the pieces in place, it’s time to get cooking on bringing a Stanley Cup to Music City.
“We have more miles on us, all of us see that,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “You talk about the core players that have been here for a while, we’ve experienced some successes and we’ve got some scars on us. And I think all of that helps to build our team.”
Josi is almost always in the conversation for a Norris Trophy and he’s come up short so far, but the 29-year-old could be in line for major consideration this season. He’s been everywhere he needs to be and trails only John Carlson in points.
Photo credit: AP Photo/Mark Zaleski