Craig Smith, Predators agree to 5-year, $21.25 million extension

Craig Smith, Predators agree to 5-year, $21.25 million extension

Craig Smith was looking for $4.75 million in arbitration. The Nashville Predators felt like $3 million was an appropriate salary for the 25-year old forward. They’ve settled for an average of $4.25 million over five years.

“As evidenced by his back-to-back 20-goal seasons and performance in the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Craig Smith is an integral part of our team’s young core and we are pleased to have agreed on a long-term contract that both parties are comfortable with,” Predatos GM David Poile said in a statement. “With Craig’s durability, work ethic and intensity, we see him continuing the build on his recent production and be a valuable contributor to our offensive attack for the next five seasons.”

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Smith and the Predators went through with their scheduled arbitration hearing on Monday. The arbitrator then had 48 hours to come to a decision once the hearing concluded, but Poile and Smith’s agent came to a happy medium with the AAV and the forward gets some great security with the five-year deal.

Per General Fanager, Smith will make $3.75 million next season, then $4M, $4.25M, $4.50M, and $4.75M in the final four seasons of the deal.

Smith is coming off a 2014-15 season that saw him score 23 goals and 44 points in 82 games, fifth-best on the Predators. Those numbers were actually down from his 24-goal, 52-point campaign in 2013-14; but as Lambert wrote Monday morning, $4.25 million a year for a guy like Craig Smith and the 40-50 points he brings is appropriate if you look at comparables.

Poile mentioned last month he wanted to lock up Smith, who was an RFA, with a longer-term deal, along with Colin Wilson. One down, one to go.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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