Predators sign Hornqvist to 5-year contract

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After advancing beyond the first round of the playoffs in 2011 and 2012, Nashville went 16-23-9 this year to finish below .500 for the first time since 2002-03. “We absolutely missed his play this year with the injuries that he had,” Predators general manager David Poile said. When he’s healthy, Hornqvist is one of the Predators’ top offensive players. Hornqvist scored 30 goals in 2009-10 to become the fourth player in franchise history to reach that benchmark. He tied for second in the NHL with eight game-winning goals that season. He followed that up with 21 goals in 2010-11 and provided a team-high 27 goals in 2011-12. He ranks eighth on the franchise’s all-time list in power-play goals (28) and is 10th in overall goals (84). “He is a unique player,” Poile said. “He is one of the fiercest competitors in the National Hockey League. He has that net presence like nobody else. He’s a courageous player. source:

Predators-Blue Jackets Preview

I’m sure the fans are going to be loud and behind us. The players have earned that – and I think the fans have earned it, too.” For fans used to a team playing out the string, this has been a welcome jolt of optimism. The club was 30th of the 30 NHL teams a year ago, and was trolling the depths of the league two months ago. Since then, the doubters have been quieted. “All the people who doubt you, you know, let ’em doubt,” said forward Cam Atkinson, who had two goals in the victory over the Stars. “All that matters is the guys in the locker room and what we’re doing.” What they’re doing is almost incomprehensible for followers of the team, annually one of the worst in the NHL. On Feb. 26, the Blue Jackets had the worst record in the league (5-12-2). Since then they have gone 18-5-5 to vault into a tie with Minnesota with 53 points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. In order to make the playoffs, the Blue Jackets (23-17-7) must beat floundering Nashville (16-22-9) while seventh-place Detroit (54 points) loses its regular-season finale in regulation at Dallas, also on Saturday and at the same time. That, however, would end the Red Wings’ 21-year string of making the playoffs, something the veterans in Hockeytown have vowed won’t happen on their watch. Columbus also has a long shot of making it in if Minnesota manages just one point in its final game Saturday at Colorado. source:–columbus-blue-jackets


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