Predators GM: Josi extension is No. 1 priority

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Nashville Predators general manager David Poile knows the top item on his summer to-do list is to sign star defenseman Roman Josi to a new contract, as it will make shaping the rest of the roster that much easier.

"When and if we do that, that checks off a lot of boxes for what we may have to do in the future," Poile told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun on Monday. "So that would certainly be our No. 1 priority, to get that done."

Josi's agents, Judd Moldaver and Jeff Jackson, plan to meet with their client over the next few weeks after his return from the World Championship, according to LeBrun. Josi's Switzerland squad lost to Canada in the quarterfinals Thursday.

The Predators captain, who'll turn 29 on June 1, ranked fifth in the NHL in average ice time during the 2018-19 regular season and poured in 56 points while playing all 82 games.

Josi has one year remaining on his current deal and thus can agree to an extension as of July 1. Poile can also sign trade-deadline acquisition Mikael Granlund to a new contract beginning on that day.

Craig Smith is also eligible for an extension at the beginning of July, and the Predators have four pending unrestricted free agents in Brian Boyle, Wayne Simmonds, Cody McLeod, and Zac Rinaldo, plus pending RFAs Colton Sissons and Rocco Grimaldi.

Predators GM: Josi extension is No. 1 priority
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