Nashville, Tenn. (May 12, 2008)
– Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed restricted free agent forward Martin Erat
to a seven-year, $31.5 million contract. (click here for Martin Erat's quick chat on Monday afternoon with NashvillePredators.com
is a perfect example of this organization’s philosophy,” Poile said. “He came to us as a seventh-round draft pick, and grew steadily into an elite player when given an opportunity to succeed. He has continued to take on more responsibility and is an integral part of our team moving forward. We look forward to his leadership and production for the next seven years.”
Erat, 26 (8/29/81), established career highs in goals (23), game-winning goals (6) and tied a personal best in points (57) in 2007-08. He also notched his first career hat trick, a natural hat trick, on March 4 at Edmonton, becoming the second player in franchise history to record a three-goal game on the road. The 6-0, 195-pound left wing was one of three Predators to earn weekly league honors in 2007-08, being named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on Nov. 19 after posting two-game winning goals and six points (3g-3a) in two games that week.
A veteran of 407 NHL games, Erat became the third Predators draft pick (along with David Legwand
and Scott Hartnell) to appear in 400 games for the club on March 20, 2008 vs. Detroit. Originally Nashville’s 12th selection, 191st overall (seventh round) in the 1999 Entry Draft, he will
enter the 2008-09 campaign third on both the Predators all-time scoring list (253) and assists list (168), having averaged 53 points over the past four seasons for Nashville. Erat has also been an key part of Nashville’s four consecutive playoff appearances, playing in 20 of the club’s 22 playoff games all-time, while tying for the team lead in playoff points (1g-3a) in the 2007-08.
The Trebic, Czech Republic native served as an alternative captain on several occasions during the 2007-08 campaign, including the final 20 regular-season games and all six postseason contests. He is currently representing his nation at the IIHF World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia and Quebec City, the fourth time he has represented the Czech Republic on the world stage.
Erat will return to Nashville and be available to the media at the conclusion of his obligations at the World Championships.