Where Is Horny?

 UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 09: Patric Hornqvist #27 of the Nashville Predators skates against the New York Islanders on February 9, 2010 at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York. The Islanders defeated the Predators 4-3 after a shootout (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

(Photo Source: Yardbarker.com)

Where, oh where is Patric Hornqvist?  Many Predators fans, including myself are dying to know the answer.  Last year, in his first full NHL season, Horny led the team in goals (30), plus/minus rating (+15), and points (51 – tied for 1st).  The Predators don’t have a stable full of 30-goal guys, so I’m not too sure what they are waiting for.

Although the front office staff has accomplished quite a lot with a bunch of little-known, low salary players, they have also been known to pull the trigger and spend a little from time to time.  Although I’m still convinced it was for pure marketing hype, we all remember when Peter Forsberg once wore the Nashville Predators blue and gold.  To obtain Forsberg’s services, we paid dearly in the personnel and the finance department.  We traded two players, two picks, and picked up the remainder of his multi-million dollar salary…not cheap by any stretch of the imagination. 

Yes, I know that Pete sold lots of tickets and generated extra revenue in the short-term, but setting our team up for another great season full of wins, will be the best move for the team’s long-term financial well-being.  Patriq Hornqvist will be a piece of this success, as soon as the front office suits stop sitting on their hands and start signing some papers. 

I don’t want us to just throw away money and pay him millions of dollars over the next twelve seasons.  I just want him re-signed for the next two or three years.  If he wants $30M over six years, he’s smoking crack and can take a hike.  But I say if he’s asking something like $3M a year…pay him.  $3M might seem like overpaying a bit when you put him up against comparables, but what do we have if we don’t sign him?  We have an extra $3M lying around that we can spend on a bunch of 5-8 goal players.  From what I can tell, we are doing exceptionally well in the average player department.  Actually, maybe a better use of our extra cash should Hornqvist slip away, would be to lower ticket prices after we finish the upcoming season with 80 points.  According to my supercomputer, $3M would allow us to shave about $4 off of every ticket. 

Restricted free agents should be re-signed every time if they have value and the team can afford it.  We definitely have the cap space, and I’m pretty sure no one will go broke if we give the kid a few extra bucks to pay his hair stylist. 

David Poile.  Give the Nashville faithful what they desire.  Sign Horny and stop playing games.  If he ends up being a one-hit-wonder, you will be forgiven.  Just get the damn deal done already.

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  • Greg

    We’re barely over the cap minimum as it is and still have horny and franson left to sign, otherwise known as our two best +/- guys. Losing players like fiddler and nichol seemed inconsequential at the time. Why? Well we had enough role players right? Til our pk goes to hell. The best option is to give him a two-year deal for about $5M. its similar to what happened with ward. Virtual unknown that suddenly has scoring punch. Ward scored about 20 and got $3M over two years. The math is right for what I think is fair for both sides.

    Not to mention that after two years he would remain a restricted free agent still.

  • Edward

    I think you are way off base and too trigger-happy in your stance with this. The Predators Hockey Operations Department has nothing but time on their hands in this situation – we still have a month until training camp starts and nothing has to be done until then. If Hornqvist isn’t in camp, he looks like the bad guy for holding out, not the other way around. Especially when the team has pretty darn good comparables with Moulson, Wheeler, Perron, Kulemin and Fleischmann that say he shouldn’t get any more than $2.4-$2.6 million. You have to stick to your guns on principle more than anything else and make him take the going rate for RFAs, not overpaying because you appear desperate. Remember, he is a one-time 30-goal scorer that was a HEALTHY SCRATCH at one point last season (Dec. 5) before he caught fire. Unlike some of the guys mentioned above, he couldn’t even stick in the NHL in 2008-09, guys like Wheeler and Perron were scoring 20 goals that season.

    • http://www.predlines.com Nathan T. Harper

      Edward. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my trigger happy mini-rant. I’m glad it stirred up some debate. Although I agree that time is on our side, I think signing Hornqvist sooner than later gives the fans some confidence that the front office will move when they have someone to move on. I never said we should grossly overpay him, I just want a deal made before camp starts. I’m not sure what type of deals have been tossed around between the club and his agent, but I sure as heck hope neither side is trying to nickel and dime. Hockey seems like one of the last major sports with players that “seem” to play for the love of the game, rather than purely for money. I hope Horny doesn’t hold out, and if he does, I definitely hope that this doesn’t become the trend with younger, unproven players coming off of good seasons.

  • Wendy of TN

    Compromise if the two parties are far apart then make Horny put his money where his mouth is He get the going rate over the next three years and if he puts up the numbers he did last year then he get a big fat bonus and we will speak to his reps again in two seasons for renegotiation and a longer deal. Sounds fair to everyone to me.

  • Edward

    Not possible there Wendy – no bonuses for anyone other than those on entry-level contracts or 35-and-over contracts

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