With JT Miller now signed long-term, the questions in Vancouver now turned to the future of Bo Horvat. Managing Director Patrick Allvin approached the negotiations with his captain at today’s press conference:
Bo is our captain. We respect and love Bo. We’re communicating with his side, and we’ll see if there’s a deal to be done here.
There was no trace of frustration on Allvin’s part – in fact, it seemed rather that Horvat’s talks had been pushed into the background while they were dealing with Miller, and that they were now going to enter it. Elliott Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed the situation on Sportsnet 32 Thoughts podcast, with the former explaining that the last he heard was “not much there.” Both hosts believe an extension will be made at some point.
Horvat, 27, has one year left on his current contract and is capped at $5.5 million for the 2022-23 season, after which he will become an unrestricted free agent. The ninth overall pick in 2013 is coming off a career-best 31-goal season (in just 70 games) and has been the team’s most consistent offensive producer with five 20-plus seasons in his eight-year career .
How the Canucks got Horvat on the board is another story. As we reviewed recently, the Canucks’ cap situation isn’t great, with Tyler Myers‘$6 million is still on the books through 2023-24 and Olivier Ekman-Larssonis $7.26 million through 2026-27, but there should be enough flexibility to add a raise to Horvat if the team decides to do so. If they do, then the question will become how can the Canucks surround that core with enough talent to really compete over the next few years, given that they’re likely to face challenges when those deals come to an end. long-term.
Even though a late-season push brought them closer to a playoff spot, the team still lost 42 games (including overtime and penalty shootouts), which isn’t exactly the number. that a competitor may indicate as a reason to spend. If they decide to keep Horvat long-term, there’s a lot of risk in how Allvin and the president Jim Rutherford are working. Being “stuck in the middle” — meaning good enough to avoid the top few draft spots but not good enough to really challenge for the Stanley Cup — is something teams try to avoid at all costs. The team already has six players signed through at least 2025-26, with only Hughes aged under 26.