NHL Rumors: Predators, Islanders, Canucks, NHL Jersey Ads

In today’s NHL rumors rundown, the Nashville Predators have their sights set on signing two of their key roster players to long-term contracts. Meanwhile, Zach Parise comments on how excited he is for the upcoming season and how quickly things “got good” after being bought out by the Minnesota Wild. The Vancouver Canucks might be trying to work a strategy with free agents Quinn Hughes and Elias Pettersson. Finally, how much does the NHL expect to make off the addition of ads on NHL jerseys in 2022-23?

Predators Want Forsberg, Ekholm Locked Up

According to a story on NHL.com, the Predators are focused on signing Mattias Ekholm and Filip Forsberg to long-term contract extensions. Despite rumors in the past of both players names being out there in trade talks, general manager David Poile said he’s talking to both parties about extending their deals with the team.

Mattias Ekholm Nashville Predators
Mattias Ekholm, Nashville Predators (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Both will become unrestricted free agents after this season if they go unsigned and Poile is hoping to avoid that. He said he spoke with Ekholm’s agent Monday and will resume discussions later this week or next week. He added, “And then I think shortly before training camp we’ll reach out to Filip Forsberg and his camp and sort of get a lay of the land as to where Filip’s thoughts are right now.” He called these discussions his “next two priorities.”

Ekholm has one season remaining on a six-year, $22.5 million contract and will get a significant bump in salary. Forsberg enters the final season of a six-year, $36 million contract. Forsberg knows it’s a business but said he has no desire to leave. “But I’ve loved every minute of my time here in Nashville and I don’t see why I wouldn’t love the future here too,” he noted.

Parise Excited About Change of Scenery

While it’s not been officially confirmed, speculation is that forward Zach Parise has signed a short-term deal with the New York Islanders. He spoke about how pumped he is for this upcoming season and noted, “I haven’t been this excited heading into a season in a while.” Parise told NHL.com’s Jessi Pierce that he’s ready to move from the Minnesota Wild. He didn’t say where he’d be playing, only that it would be elsewhere. “I’ve been here for a long time and sometimes a change of scenery is good,” he said.

Parise took part in a DaBeauty League game on Monday evening in Minnesota and said that it didn’t take long for the shock and disappointment of being bought out by the Wild faded. He hinted that he was immediately signed by another team. Most believe it was Islanders’ general manager Lou Lamoirello who called right away and TSN’s Bob McKenzie did note that Parise visited Long Island in the days prior to free agency opening.

Pettersson and Hughes Likely to Sign Bridge Deals

Thomas Drance of The Athletic was a guest on Oilers Now Tuesday afternoon as talked the Vancouver Canucks contract situations with Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes. Suggesting he thought both players would end up signing bridge deals, Drance noted that Hughes potential extension was a lot more complicated because of his 10.2 C status as free agent.

Quinn Hughes Vancouver Canucks
Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Typically, those deals with free agents in that position can take a long time to get done and Hughes is an especially hard player to value because of his age, skill level and comparable contracts being limited. Drance hinted that the Canucks might prefer to sign both Pettersson and Hughes to similar deals and that the players might be inclined to stick together in negotiations, seeing as they have the same agent.

NHL Jerseys Ads Could Rake in Big Money

Drance also noted that the NHL wanted to get in on the jersey sponsorship opportunity before it was potentially too late because there are only so many businesses willing to spend big money on these kinds of opportunities and the NBA already has 30 corporations signed up and potentially off the table for the NHL.

It was announced by the NHL that display ads (a 3-inch by 3.5-inch rectangle) will be available on team jerseys starting in 2022-23. The projected amount of additional revenue the NHL stands to make from the sale of these ads spots is $150 million. Rates per team will range, but in the NBA, popular franchises are charging upwards of $20 million for that jersey spot.