Nashville Predators Extension with Tommy Novak is Perfect for Both Sides

Tommy Novak signed what looks like on its surface a team-friendly deal and a win for first-year General Manager Barry Trotz.
Calgary Flames v Nashville Predators
Calgary Flames v Nashville Predators / Brett Carlsen/GettyImages

He is not going anywhere folks! On Monday, it was announced that the Nashville Predators and forward Tommy Novak agreed on a three-year contract extension worth $3.5M per year, keeping him in Nashville through the 2026-27 season.

Momentum on a new contract was picking up throughout last week, and ultimately they got it done with days to spare before the Trade Deadline. Despite rumors of the Predators being able to get a first rounder in return for Novak, Barry Trotz decided to keep him, and it was the right move.

You can tell the feeling was mutual, because both parties got what they wanted without it being an unfair exchange in the slightest. The deal is truly what would be classified as a "win-win" situation.

Novak extension sets up himself and Nashville Predators well at Expiration

Before the new deal was signed, it was rumored that $4M per year was the number that Novak's camp was pushing for. While his overall production and impact on the ice so far in his career would justify that price, he has been slightly inconsistent this year and he still has little experience in the NHL.

Considering that Ryan O'Reilly's contract is four years at $4.5M per year, Novak's extension certainly had to be a noticeable step below that. Fortunately, that is what happened, but in a way that helps him out.

While Novak did not get the $4M per year he was supposedly hoping for, it was only for three years which still is a bridge deal, so he could certainly earn way more later in his career. Not only that, but it runs until the end of the season right before he turns 30.

In other words, his age-30 season will not start until his next contract after this new one, which definitely benefits him assuming he does not decline before then. Plus, it is proven in the NHL that highly skilled players can succeed at least in their early-30's, so Novak should still have several good years left after the most recently signed contract expires.

The Timing if Perfect for Novak to Hit his Peak Potential

Secondly, this new contract runs out at the exact same time that O'Reilly's contract does. From the Predators' point of view, this really helps because both players are centers, and it will give them a clear chance to decide which one they want to keep without having to worry about overlapping salaries or limited roster spots.


From Novak's point of view, that is huge because he is thinking that O'Reilly's current spot is his to lose for the future. It is most likely that O'Reilly is just in Nashville for a few seasons, and once he is gone, Novak has a clear path to take that jump and assume a role as a truly proven top six center.

Plus at that time, Novak will not have to worry about O'Reilly's contract limiting what the Predators can offer him. Novak is the guy for the future and the team will be able to put everything they have into getting a new deal done with him, which helps him out leverage-wise.

This contract is great news for both sides because not only is it a fair deal on paper, but it got done days before the deadline. That shows that everyone really wanted to make it happen, and it is great to have Tommy Novak back in gold for the foreseeable future.