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Hornqvist signs five-year contract with Penguins

Forward gets $5.3 million annually, avoids free agency @NHLdotcom

Patric Hornqvist signed a five-year, $26.5 million contract with the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday. The contract has an average annual value of $5.3 million.

"It feels great," the 31-year-old forward said. "This is the city I want to be in. I'm really happy to stay here for five more years. We always have a chance to win. We have a great core group in here. I want to win. We have a great chance here."

Hornqvist could have become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He has 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) in 51 games this season.

"Everything worked out really well," he said. "We got what we wanted and I think both sides are happy. Now the fun starts to begin.

"Obviously, that's the thing we wanted. We wanted those five years and we got it. I'm happy about that. I'm going to be trying my best here for five years and that was the key for me in this deal. ... I think both sides are happy to get that out of the way here before the playoffs and just start playing and winning games."

Video: Phil Bourque on new developments in Pittsburgh

Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford spoke Monday about his desire to get a contract done.

"Over my career I've done very few contracts during the season," Rutherford said. "So this shows what the organization and what I think of Patric, to get in and get it done sooner rather than later. So I felt it was important that he knows and we know that he's going to be here going forward."

Hornqvist has scored at least 21 goals in seven of the previous eight seasons and has won the Stanley Cup with the Penguins the past two seasons.

"That's a big accomplishment for the GM to say that, and I'm really happy for that comment and that makes me want to stay even more," Hornqvist said. "That says what this organization is all about. We want to win and they take care of their players really well. I'm glad to be here."

Selected by the Nashville Predators in the seventh round (No. 230) of the 2005 NHL Draft, Hornqvist has 394 points (191 goals, 203 assists) in 630 NHL games.

Hornqvist signed a five-year, $21.25 million contract ($4.25 million average annual value) with the Predators on April 30, 2013. He was traded to the Penguins with forward Nick Spaling for forward James Neal on June 27, 2014.

Hornqvist has 178 points (85 goals, 93 assists) in 267 regular-season games with Pittsburgh, and 25 points (16 goals, nine assists) in 48 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

"We're thrilled for Patric," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I think he's deserving of the contract. He's been such a big part of this team and what it's been able to accomplish over the last couple of seasons. I think it's obvious what he brings to our team, both on the ice and off the ice. He brings so much energy. He's a positive guy. He really brings a dimension to our locker room that I think is unique. I think everyone that's a part of our locker room is appreciative of what Patric brings. So there's no one more deserving of the contract that he signed and we're thrilled to have him." correspondent Wes Crosby contributed

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