The Nashville Predators made it official today that they’ve signed top defenseman Roman Josi to an eight-year contract extension worth over $72 million.

From the article linked above, David Poile seems like a happy man that the team was finally able to get a deal done.

“Roman Josi is one of the top defensemen in the National Hockey League and our team leader as captain,” Poile said. “As he enters his prime, we look forward to Roman continuing to showcase his elite skills in Smashville and guiding our team in pursuit of the ultimate goal, the Stanley Cup.”

The Preds have finally locked up their best defenseman to a contract, ending speculation that they would have to trade him away at the deadline or risk losing him to free agency. With this, the Preds would have a top three defense core that rivals any other in the league, putting Roman Josi with Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm for at least the next three years.

Pierre Lebrun tweeted out the contract details, which is front-loaded and also includes a no move clause (Josi cannot be traded or sent to the minors for the duration of the contract; he would also be required to be protected in an expansion draft).

While the contract itself is a large one, it is probably one that David Poile had no choice to make. He couldn’t afford to let yet another high priced defenseman walk away, given how the Ryan Suter situation turned out.

Having just played his 574th game, Josi is the 3rd most senior member of the Nashville Predators in terms of games played, behind only Craig Smith (603) and Pekka Rinne (630). He ranks 4th in career points with the Preds with 361, behind Shea Weber (443), Martin Erat (481), and David Legwand (566).

Earlier reports on Roman Josi

The reports began this morning from big name hockey pundits like Elliott Friedman and Pierre Lebrun.

 

Though he’s always been an offensive minded defenseman, Josi has come a long way in his defensive efforts over the last few years. He’s always near the top of the team in blocked shots and takeaways in the defensive zone, plus he does a great job of staying out of the penalty box.

A captain, a goal scorer, a play maker, a penalty killer, a power play quarterback… Roman Josi does everything for the Nashville Predators.

And now it looks like he will be doing it for at least the next eight years.

— Featured image via Christopher Hanewinckel/USA TODAY Sports —

 

 

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