The Nashville Predators have been working on an extension for Matthias Echlam for some time and have finally reached an agreement. Elliott Friedman of Sportsnet reports The two sides have signed a four-year extension worth a total of 25 25 million. The average annual value of .. 6.25 million will be a significant increase over Ekhlam’s current contract, which carries a cap hit of .. 3.755 million and will end this.
Ekhlam, 311, has been an important part of the Predators’ defense for many years, making his debut in the 2011-12 season and becoming a regular in 2013-2013. At least 23 points in each of the last six seasons, career-high 44 in 2018-19. With Ryan Ellis is now in Philadelphia, he will probably be asked to take on more responsibilities on the special team and easily behind the team’s most reliable alternative captain Roman Josie.
Still, signing Ekhlam at the moment is a curious move for hunters who aren’t in true win-now mode at the moment. The big deals with Matt Duchenne and Ryan Johansen did not go into effect, leaving their offensive line to progress at this stage. Victor Arvidson, a large part of the attack was sent out this summer, when Philip Forsberg was in the last year of his current contract. If anything, it looks like GM David Poyle will be ready to pull the trigger on some deadline deals this season that could re-close the cupboard and set the Predators for future success.
An extension for Ekhlam certainly removes him from the timeline equation and locks him up with predators between 2025-26. The real risk is that the deal won’t look very team-friendly for a few years from now, although Ekhlam has certainly paid a lot of surplus value at the moment. The deal he will end this year is one of the best bargains in the league, perhaps before giving the team one last shot to compete with the group before making more significant changes.