Two-year deal keeps Ekholm, Predators out of arbitration

The Nashville Predators saved themselves a headache Wednesday.

Defenseman Mattias Ekholm agreed to a two-year, $2.075 million contract. The deal pays him $1,037,500 for each of the next two seasons.

Last week, he was one of 20 NHL players but the only one from Nashville who filed for arbitration. The deal negates the need for that process, which often leads to hard feelings between the sides.

Most notable in Nashville history were hearings with forward Denny Lambert and defenseman Shea Weber. Lambert was traded shortly after his arbitration hearing in 1999, and two years ago – one year after his arbitration hearing – Weber tried to get out of Nashville via an offer sheet from Philadelphia.

Ekholm earned $900,000 last season when he had one goal and eight assists in 62 games. It was his first full NHL season.