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Nashville keeps making noise, signs Hendricks: four years, $7.4 million

Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: Matt Hendricks #26 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a shootout goal against the Montreal Canadiens at the Verizon Center on March 31, 2012 in Washington, DC. The Capitals won the game 3-2. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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The Nashville Predators have made their third significant signing of the free agency period, agreeing to terms with former Washington forward Matt Hendricks on a four-year, $7.4 million deal.

The deal carries an average annual cap hit of $1.85 million.

Hendricks, 31, blossomed from a fringe NHLer to a lineup regular in the nation’s capital.

He put up a career-high 25 points in his first season with Washington (2010-11) and carved himself a unique role as a tough guy, game fighter, good faceoff man, respected teammate and quality shootout participant.

Hendricks was in the final season of a two-year, $1.65 million deal signed with the Caps in 2011.

There was believed to be a number of teams interested in his services -- the Rangers inquired, as did the Vancouver Canucks -- but it’s unlikely any were willing to commit the type of term and money Nashville did.