Morning Hits: Preds sign Hornqvist, Rask between Howard and Price, Oilers 1st pick in play, Jets storylines

  • PR Nashville Predators: The Predators have signed forward Patric Hornqvist to a five-year, $21.25 million contract extension.

    “As we build towards the 2013-14 season and beyond, re-signing Patric Hornqvist was an off-season priority,” Poile said. “Since joining the Predators, he has become—and will remain—an integral member of our core group. Patric is everything we talk about as a Predator—he is relentless in going to the net and willing to pay the price to score goals, has a terrific work ethic and is a quality person who is respected on and off the ice. Patric is just entering the prime of his career. He has led our team in goal-scoring in two of the last four seasons and we are looking forward to him being a significant part of the Predators’ on-ice success in the years to come.”

  • Joe Haggerty of CSNNE: RFA Tuukka Rask could be looking for a new deal somewhere between Jimmy Howard’s $5,291,667 salary cap hit and Carey Price’s $6.5 million cap hit. His playoff performance may shift the number closer to one them. Rask finished the season with a 19-10-5 record, a 2.00 goals-against average and a .929 save percentage.
  • Terry Jones of the Edmonton Journal: The Oilers have the seventh overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft, and it could be in play.

    “We’re definitely going to look at doing something with that pick. I think we’d be very receptive to moving back and picking up another pick potentially,” said MacTavish.

    “It’s a very deep draft in my mind. There are tons of players out there who excite me. Or possibly we could pick up somebody that could help us immediately and another pick.”

    MacTavish is also looking to get bigger.

    “We want more toughness, more meat and more depth in our lineup,” he said.

    “I’m pretty optimistic we can get some of the immediate growth and change,” said MacTavish.

    Some people had been mentioning amnesty buyout for Ryan Smyth.

    “Ryan Smyth will be back,” he said.

  • Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun: 5 Jets storylines to watch this offseason.1. Are the Jets ready for their first blockbuster deal? Wiebe doesn’t think they should trade Dustin Byfuglien, but he could bring the biggest return. If they were to move him, they would need to get an all-star back.2. Is Olli Jokinena candidate for an amnesty buyout? It may send a bad message to future free agents if they buyout Jokinen after just one season. Paying someone over $3 million to not play, isn’t the way the Jets do business. Jokinen could still bounce back.3. Will the Jets try to move up in the draft? The Jets could still find an impact player at 13. It’s possible that they could package their pick along with another pick or player and move up. They have six picks in the first three rounds.

    4. Who will be Ondrej Pavelec’s backup? They could bring back Al Montoya.

    5. Can Toby Enstrom kick the injury bug? He’s missed 46 games in the last two seasons. He hopes to be able to get rid of the “fragile” label.

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