NASHVILLE – Filip Forsberg said Tuesday he wants to return to the Nashville Predators.
The pending unrestricted free agent forward’s 10th season with Nashville ended Monday when the Predators were swept in the Western Conference First Round by the Colorado Avalanche with a 5-3 loss in Game 4.
“I’ve said that since Day One: The goal is to come back here,” Forsberg said. “The business side is completely different than the on-ice side. [We’ll] just kind of have to wait and see and play it out.
“There’s obviously some [negotiation] progression throughout the season from where we started in September, and me and my agent and [the Predators front office] are going to be in ongoing conversation in the process. We’ll just have to see where we end. “
The 27-year-old set NHL career highs with 42 goals, 42 assists and 84 points in the sixth and final year of his contract. He is a three-time 30-goal scorer and has 469 points (220 goals, 249 assists) in 566 NHL games. Forsberg is the Predators’ career leader in goals, Stanley Cup Playoff goals (29) and playoff points (53).
Forsberg said he likes the direction of the Predators, who reached the postseason for an eighth straight season, this time as the West’s second wild card.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to be on this team for a long time now, and we’ve made the playoffs [almost] every year, “Forsberg said.” But at the same time, every player plays to win the Stanley Cup. So do I. That’s my biggest goal. I do believe we have a team that can make that in the future. I think that’s the direction that a team has to be heading, and I think we are. “
Forsberg said contract negotiations went on during the season but were paused following the March 21 NHL Trade Deadline. He expects talks to resume soon.
“I do not want to give you guys too much information on the negotiations and stuff,” Forsberg said. “But… there was progress all the way up until the Trade Deadline, and after that, the teams were set and obviously nothing was going to happen at that point. We just focused on playing well for the rest of the season and playing well in the playoffs. I’m sure the talks will start progressing again and we’ll see what happens. “
Forsberg said the uncertainty of his future makes for a different feeling heading into the offseason.
“Obviously it’s the first time being in this situation in a long time,” Forsberg said. “The last time was a little different, being [a restricted free agent]. But it’s part of the journey. You have to deal with things as they come, and it is what it is. “
Defenseman Roman Josi said he hopes Forsberg returns. The two have played together since Forsberg was acquired in a trade with the Washington Capitals on April 3, 2013.
“Obviously as captain, you want [Forsberg] to stay, “Josi said.” He’s such a big part, such a big part of our team, such a great player. I’ve played with him for a lot of years, so he’s become a really good friend. I mean, we all want him to stay here, obviously. I’ll be definitely mentioning that to him. But at the end of the day, we know it’s a business. “