The Nashville Predators hedged their bet when they signed Marcel Goc last summer.
Wednesday, they made it clear that they did not want to gamble on letting the 26-year-old center get back on the open market. With a little less than half the current season remaining, Goc and the Predators agreed to a one-year contract for the next one.
The deal guarantees him an NHL salary of $775,000 for 2010-11. That is in direct contrast to his current one-year, two-way deal, which pays him $550,000 as long as he is with the Predators but also includes a provision for an American Hockey League salary of $105,000.
He agreed to that deal after having spent most of the offseason as a free agent. He was signed Aug. 21, less than a month before the start of training camp.
In 49 games for Nashville this season, Goc already has set a career-high with 10 goals. He also has nine assists, which leaves him three shy of his career-high for points (22), which he set as a rookie with San Jose in 2005-06.
He leads the Predators in faceoff percentage (51.9) and averages 14:08 of ice time per contest, which is on pace for the highest of his career and includes better than a minute and a half of penalty killing.
He missed Tuesday’s 3-2 loss at Columbus — the Predators’ fourth straight defeat — with an upper body injury.
Last month he was chosen to play for Germany in next month’s 2010 Winter Olympics at Vancouver.