Bo Horvat extension talks with Canucks hits a snag; a trade possible

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Bo Horvat is the captain of the Vancouver Canucks and one would think that there shouldn’t be any concern regarding an extension.

Horvat, 27, scored a career high 31 goals last season and finished with 52 points in 70 games. He’s entering the final year of his contract with an AAV of $5.5 million. However, the general consensus is his next deal with be in the $7+ million range for max term.

Can the Canucks afford it?

Recently, GM Patrik Allvin told reporters that the two sides were talking and he viewed Horvat as one of the team’s core pieces.

“We’re communicating with his camp,” Allvin said. “We’ll see if there’s a deal to be done here.”

On the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun reported talks have hit a snag.

“I would say on the Bo Horvat front it’s been quiet of late but those discussions date back three, four months, it’s not like they’re just getting going right now,” LeBrun stated. “Both sides have really laid out their positions, and my understanding is that there’s a pretty sizable gap between those positions at the moment.”

Bo Horvat wants to stay in Vancouver

Bo Horvat NHL Rumors
Feb 24, 2022; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat (53) skates against the Calgary Flames in the first period at Rogers Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

After the season ended, the belief was that Horvat and the Canucks would find common ground on an extension. Once J.T. Miller signed his massive new deal it changed the dynamic for Vancouver going forward.

“There’s lots of time for the Canucks and Horvat’s representatives to find a way over the next few months and it is the Canucks’ absolute priority to get their captain signed to a long-term deal,” LeBrun added. “But it’s also true, I think, that the Canucks’ front office feels a bit less pressure in the wake of J.T. Miller signing to get it done at all costs.”

While the salary cap is certainly going to play a huge role in negotiations, Horvat remains focused on the upcoming 2022-23 campaign.

“I can’t let that that kind of stuff bother me,” Horvat said before camp opened. “I can’t always have it hanging over my head. For me, I have to put my head down and be the best leader I can. I’m a Vancouver Canuck right now and I’m going to be a Vancouver Canuck for this full year and I’m going to try to do whatever I can help this team win and that’s my main focus right now.”

Whatever happens, the looming extension for Elias Pettersson in 2024 will be a serious consideration in any deal they give or don’t give Horvat. One thing is clear, the Canucks captain has made his desire to stay in Vancouver public.

“My wife and I love the city, we love the people, we love fans and the organization,” Horvat revealed. “I want [an extension] to happen, and we’ll see what happens here but these things do take time and hopefully we can get it done soon.”

Horvat’s desire to stay or not won’t mean much if the March 3 trade deadline rolls around and no extension is in place. He could very well be on his way out, and if so he’ll be a sought after rental.