Roman Josi signed an eight-year, $72.4 million contract with the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The contract has an average annual value of a little more than $9 million.
The 29-year-old defenseman is in the final season of a seven-year, $28 million contract signed June 10, 2013, and could have become an unrestricted free agent July 1, 2020.
"Both sides never made it a secret," Josi said. "I always told everyone that I wanted to stay here. Like I said, I love this place. [Predators general manager David Poile] didn't make it a secret that they'd like to sign me. Obviously you want to get it done as soon as possible, but I was pretty confident the whole way it was going to get done eventually."
The Predators were determined to sign Josi and made significant progress the past two weeks, including when Josi met with Poile in Arizona, where Nashville played Oct. 17.
"It's probably the most important negotiation we've ever had," Poile said. "You're signing Roman Josi, our best player. He's our leader, so there's so many things in the negotiation outside of the obvious, meaning the money. It's a little bit more in the relationship part in things that I would want to talk with Roman about that not necessarily I'd talk to other players about for future thinking. We were all around it for a long time. We should have maybe even done it at an earlier time, but all that really matters is we got it done.
"[Assistant general manager Brian Poile] and I actually met with Roman out in Arizona on the road trip. I think we had a good conversation just talking a little bit about the contract but more about our team and our philosophy. I felt after Roman heard us out and he made a few comments, I felt we were heading in the right direction. We got the deal done [Monday] afternoon."
Josi is tied for the Predators lead in goals (five) and points (13) and leads them in average ice time per game (24:32). He has been Nashville's captain since 2017-18.
"There's been a lot of these guys that have come up together and developed together," coach Peter Laviolette said. "We put together a leadership group, and Roman was the captain of that team. Today's an important day because he brings so much. It's not just what we see on the ice on a nightly basis, it's what he brings to the room. I count on his leadership all the time, and he knows that too.
"He's got a very powerful, strong voice inside the room. And we signed a terrific person and a terrific human being. When you're looking to make a commitment to somebody for eight years, you want to check a lot of boxes, and we feel we've checked all of the boxes."
Selected by the Predators in the second round (No. 38) of the 2008 NHL Draft, Josi has 361 points (98 goals, 263 assists) in 574 regular-season games and 32 points (10 goals, 22 assists) in 71 Stanley Cup Playoff games.
"I'm very relieved," Josi said. "We're in the midst of the season and we've got a game tonight, so I think as a player all you want to focus on is playing hockey and winning hockey games."