In an interesting move, the Nashville Predators have signed Calle Jarnkrok to a six-year, $12MM deal, according to a team release. Jarnkrok was set to head to arbitration on August 4th, but will now not only avoid it this summer but for his entire career; he’ll become an unrestricted free agent at the completion of this deal.
Not often (if ever) do you see a player commit to such a low salary for so long, but Jarnkrok must have appreciated the security of a long-term deal. He’ll earn just $2MM per season through 2021-22, making his offensive development almost irrelevant.
The Swedish centerman scored 16 goals and 30 points last season and saw his ice-time skyrocket to over 16 minutes a night. He was used in all situations, seeing time on both the powerplay and penalty kill, and is regarded as a building block for the Predators going forward.
His deal represents almost no risk to the Preds, as $2MM is a number given out regularly to third and fourth line players in today’s NHL – not to mention if the cap goes up over the next few seasons. If Jarnkrok can build on his performance from last season, and continue to put up 15-20 goals, he’ll be one of the best bargains in the league as he approaches his 30th birthday.
After signing Jarnkrok and Petter Granberg, Nashville has now avoided arbitration with both of their players, earning them an additional 48-hour buyout window that would start on Monday.
Just three players who filed for arbitration remain unsigned, with none actually taking part in a hearing thus far.