Predators get it done; sign defenseman Mattias Ekholm to a 4-year, $25M extension

Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm signed a four-year, $25 million contract extension, TSN reported on Wednesday.

The reported structure of the deal does not have any trade protections per multiple reports.

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Predators sign Ekholm

The Predators have yet to announce the move as of Wednesday morning, although the team plans to make a “major hockey announcement” in the afternoon.

Ekholm would have been an unrestricted free agent after this season. The 31-year-old Swede was set to play out the final season of a six-year, $22.5 million contract.

Ekholm recorded 23 points (six goals, 17 assists) in 48 games last season. He has 219 points (51 goals, 168 assists) in 586 career games since the Predators selected him in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft.

Ekholm gets what he wanted

mattias ekholm
Mar 21, 2021; Dallas, Texas, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) waits for play to resume against the Dallas Stars during the third period at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Predators Mattias Ekholm was at the top of the NHL Trade Bait list last season, but Nashville opted to hold onto to him. Before this season started, Ekholm wanted something made very clear to management: sign me now or don’t talk to me during the season.

“They have talked all off-season long about an extension and have not been able to get one done yet but here is the wrinkle,” LeBrun explained. “I’m told that agent Kurt Overhardt and Ekholm have told general manager David Poile and the Predators that if he is not signed by the start of the season we want to shelve talks. We don’t want to negotiate during the year.”

It looks like the tactic work as the two sides came to terms before puck drop.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report.