Just two days before the Nashville Predators and Juuse Saros were set to meet for arbitration, the two sides have inked a new deal.
The Preds have signed their starting goaltender to a four-year, $20 million extension. That’s worth an annual cap hit of $5 million. The deal was first reported by SportsNet’s Elliotte Friedman and confirmed by the team on Monday.
Nashville and Juuse Saros have a four-year, $20M extension to avoid arbitration— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 16, 2021
“Juuse has proven himself as one of the best young goaltenders in the NHL, and we are very pleased to have him remain our No. 1 goaltender for years to come,” General Manager David Poile said in a statement. “Juuse gives our team a chance to win in every game he plays, and we feel confident that with him leading the tandem we’ve established with David Rittich, our goaltenders will be a large part of our success in 2021-22.”
David Poile statement on re-signing Juuse Saros: pic.twitter.com/CNRGsSjE0G— Adam Vingan (@AdamVingan) August 16, 2021
The Preds and Saros will avoid an arbitration hearing that was set for Wednesday, August 18.
Saros is coming off what was easily his best year as a pro, carrying the Preds to a surprise playoff berth on the back of an 21-11-1 campaign. His .927 save percentage ranked 4th in the league among goalies with at least 20 starts. Saros followed that up with an impressive postseason in which he stopped 232 of 252 shots in the Preds’ first-round series against the Carolina Hurricanes, the most shots faced by a Preds goaltender in a single playoff series.
The deal appears to be a win-win situation for both sides. Saros will get a well-deserved payday, along with a firm endorsement from the Predators about his immediate future as the team’s top goaltender (not that the latter was in doubt, especially following Pekka Rinne’s retirement.) The Preds, meanwhile, maintain some level of long-term flexibility; The four year deal runs out around the same time frame Yaroslav Askarov is projected to arrive in the NHL, giving the Predators another window to assess their goaltending options.
What are your thoughts on the deal, Preds fans?