Nashville enjoyed the Roman Josi contract as the defenseman was earning just $4 million AAV for the last seven seasons. It was known that a big payday was coming.
As a result, the Predators signed the defender to an eight-year, $9.059 million AAV extension. Let’s take a deeper look
What Roman Josi means to the Nashville Predators
Josi’s ice-time is immeasurable as he plays 24-25 minutes a night and in all situations. There is little question of how much he contributes offensively and defensively. As his role has evolved, the defender plays more and more offense. His career-high is 61 points and some pundits think he can break that this year.
The defenseman currently has 13 points in 11 games this season — including seven in his last four games alone. Nashville’s captain exudes confidence and has stepped up even more with Filip Forsberg and Matt Duchene both being out recently.
Now, the contract is signed and sealed. The first question asked has to be, does Josi play the entire deal in Nashville? When the extension kicks in, Josi will have turned 30 the summer before.
Josi continues to progress every single season from an offensive and defensive point of view. Only the team’s abyss known as the power play slows Josi down in 2018-19. The 29-year-old is the focal point of the Nashville Predators’ blue line for many years to come.
Next, there is the numerology.
The numerology of Roman Josi
Fortunately, Josi plays in a way that is polarizing to some and even more so to others. Now, his relative metrics are ridiculously positive this year (+11% to team relative). That will not last but could easily come into line to say +3 to +5% which would be in the career-high realm.
Possession metrics were okay Josi. The defenseman maintained a -0.6% relative last year and that was down from the previous years. One of the main reasons was the second half of the season where all of Nashville struggled to score at a somewhat consistent rate.
Eventually, other players will be able to take on some of the roles that Josi has inherited — including leadership ones.
Consequently, many point to that his expected goals for that were more than 10% up from the team average relative. Also, his points per 60 were quite good at 1.81.
There are a few concerns though.
Somehow I missed Roman Josi being signed to an enormous contract to run until he’s 37, which is A Huge Mistake. He’s propped up defensively by his partners to an incredible degree. pic.twitter.com/Y8dMXU25CC
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) October 29, 2019
Tougher minutes will keep coming and his defensive battery mates (Ryan Ellias and Mattias Ekholm) have helped to a great deal. While not calling this deal a mistake, Josi will age out of it in the second half of the contract. Also, Josi possesses an above-average slap shot and can play the position well. Is he a Norris Trophy worthy player? That will always be a question where the answer is in the eye of the beholder.
This move keeps Josi in Nashville until he turns 38. The defenseman hit such high value on his last deal that it just almost offsets this deal to a point.
The details of the Roman Josi deal
The Josi re-signing shows an eight-year contract extension for $9.059 million AAV which was around what most speculated he could receive.
Year-by-year breakdown of Roman Josi’s extension: 2020-21, $11M signing bonus, $750k salary; 2021-22, $10M SB, $750k salary; 2022-23, $8.75M SB, $1M salary; 2023-24, $4M SB, $5M salary; 2024-25, $9M salary; 2025-26, $8M salary; 2026-27, $7.222M salary; 2027-28, $7M salary.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 29, 2019
The salary breakdown was shown above but the interesting part is the first five years at $50.25 million. The kickers in this deal are frontloaded. Again, considering the amount Nashville benefitted from the previous deal, this contract makes some sense.
Here is a PuckPedia snapshot on Roman Josi.
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) October 29, 2019
These are all unrestricted free agent years and buys a few of those 35+ years that would have been a problem later on.
Josi possesses a full no-movement clause (NMC) for the first seven years of the deal. The eighth-year has no such guarantee.
Some final words on Roman Josi
Josi expects to keep producing at an elite level for the next several seasons before the offensive numbers begin to slide. Then, one may see some of the defensive shortcomings. However, Josi’s leadership cannot be disputed.
Finally, his surrounding talent should minimize precipitous regression unless they are moved beforehand. Josi wanted to stay in Nashville and Nashville wanted to keep Josi. As long as the offensive output outpaces some of the defensive lapses and gaps in play, then all is well.