Predators, Juuse Saros agree to new four-year, $20M contract

Nashville Predators goaltender Juuse Saros (74). (Mark Humphrey/AP)

The Nashville Predators and goalie Juuse Saros have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a four-year, $20-million contract, according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

The contract will carry an AAV of $5 million and keep the Predators' starting goalie in Smashville for the foreseeable future.

Saros took over the No. 1 role in Nashville from the now-retired Pekka Rinne mid-way through the 2019-20 campaign and made a career-high 35 starts last season. In 36 total appearances, Saros posted a career-best .927 save percentage and 2.28 goals-against average to help the Predators rally into the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Central Division. For his efforts, Saros finished sixth in Vezina Trophy voting and 11th in Hart Trophy voting.

The 26-year-old is expected to see his role continue to grow in the coming seasons as the team continues to develop 2020 first-round pick Yaroslav Askarov. Next season, Saros will be paired with free-agent addition David Rittich in the Predators' net.

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