The Nashville Predators have signed restricted free agent forward Martin Erat to a seven-year, $31.5 million contract, according to announcement from the team.
“Martin Erat is a perfect example of this organization’s philosophy,” Predators general manager David Poile said. “He came to us as a seventh-round draft pick, and grew steadily into an elite player when given an opportunity to succeed. He has continued to take on more responsibility and is an integral part of our team moving forward. We look forward to his leadership and production for the next seven years.”
Erat, 26, established career highs in goals (23), game-winning goals (6) and tied a personal best in points (57) in 2007-08. He also notched his first career hat trick, a natural hat trick, on March 4 at Edmonton, becoming the second player in franchise history to record a three-goal game on the road.
The 6-0, 195-pound left wing was one of three Predators to earn weekly league honors in 2007-08, being named the NHL’s Third Star of the Week on Nov. 19 after posting two game-winning goals and six points (3g-3a) in two games that week.
A veteran of 407 NHL games, Erat became the third Predators draft pick (along with David Legwand and Scott Hartnell) to appear in 400 games for the club on March 20, 2008 vs. Detroit.