No surprise in today’s announcement on Hornqvist. All summer long it appeared as if it was only a matter of time before terms of a new deal were worked out. And once the salary arbitration settlements clarified the market, it seemed like the framework was established.
With Hornqvist “officially” back in tow, the Preds return their top three scorers from last season (Hornqvist, Steve Sullivan, and Martin Erat
). And, as the franchise moves forward, the Preds have long-term stability up front. Hornqvist, along with Erat, newly signed free agent Matthew Lombardi (19 goals, 53 points for Phoenix last season), J-P Dumont (248 points during his first four years in Nashville), and David Legwand
(the team’s leading scorer in the playoffs) are all top-end offensive players under contract through the end of the 2011-12 season – saying nothing of Colin Wilson
who made the jump from NCAA to NHL during his first pro campaign last year.
There’s been much conversation this summer about potential line combinations (see Tom Callahan’s Aug. 3 blog entry for some of his starting thoughts); today’s announcement only re-affirms Hornqvist will be right in the middle of the conversation. Hornqvist has been successful at every level he’s played – he broke Peter Forsberg’s record for goals by a rookie in the Swedish Elite League (earning Rookie of the Year honors), finished second at the World Championships in goals during the 2008 tournament, finished strong at the AHL level for Milwaukee in 08-09 (his first North American season), and scored 30 goals last season in the NHL.