It was not long ago that, with as many question marks as there were around the Vancouver Canucks, the obvious answer was an extension for team captain Bo Horvat. Whether or not players like J.T. Miller or Brock Boeser were or were not traded or if head coach Bruce Boudreau would be brought back for this season, a Horvat extension always seemed to be a given. Now, after extensions for Miller and Boeser, the free agent signing of Ilya Mikheyev, and the Canucks’ rocky start to the season, with no extension in place for the captain, things appear more uncertain than they’ve ever been for Horvat and Vancouver.
On tonight’s 32 Thoughts segment of Hockey Night In Canada, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reiterated the story on Horvat: the needle has not moved at all in negotiations. Marek further emphasized the curiosity as to what the organization will ultimately do with Horvat. On one hand, the reunion between both sides appears to be a perfect match and as much as the Canucks have struggled to start the season, Horvat with his 10 goals in 11 games, has not. Still, the more the veteran continues to score, the higher he drives his price. With Miller and Boeser now in place, if the price becomes higher than Vancouver wishes to pay, or simply can pay, the decision might be made for them. And, should Vancouver struggle or fail to make up the ground they lost, Horvat’s trade value may be enough to dissuade them from pursuing an extension in the first place.
- Yesterday, the Ottawa Senators formally initiated the process of being sold, just over seven months after the passing of owner Eugene Melnyk. Though that time might seem a bit longer than expected to some, the Melnyk family was able to oversee a team transition this offseason to lock in some of the organization’s young core talent, become one of the league’s more exciting groups, and of course, grieve Melnyk’s passing. Although the timeline to date has been unclear, the sale process might be a bit more clear, and quick. Also from tonight’s 32 Thoughts, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman expects the process to get seriously moving by American Thanksgiving, which is now 19 days away. No clear front runner(s) for the team have emerged yet, though Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch reports that the league would prefer one majority owner over a group of minority shareholders. Even with the Thanksgiving timetable mentioned, when exactly a new owner would be in place with all formalities and transition of power completed, is unclear.
- More tough news for the Toronto Maple Leafs in net as goaltender Ilya Samsonov, who started tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins, was forced to leave after the second period. The Maple Leafs confirmed their goaltender would not return while dealing with a knee injury. According to head coach Sheldon Keefe, who discussed the injury with reporters, including Joshua Clipperton of The Canadien Press, was suffered during Brad Marchand’s penalty shot. The extent of the injury or any time he could miss is not yet clear, however Toronto is already working around the loss of Matt Murray in net, who is on LTIR with an abductor injury. Murray was scheduled to miss four weeks with that injury and is currently through three, however a scheduled return is not yet known. Erik Kallgren, who has been acting as the Maple Leafs backup goaltender, is certainly a capable NHL netminder, however the only other goaltender Toronto has under contract is Dennis Hildeby, a 2022 draft pick currently on loan in his native Sweden. Interestingly, the Maple Leafs had been pressed against the 50 contract limit–until today. With forward Nicolas Aube-Kubel lost on waivers to the Washington Capitals this afternoon, Toronto now has just 49 of 50 contracts in their system, enough to add one more player. Should they need to do so, they’ll have to act quick and be creative, with puck drop in Carolina scheduled for 5:00 pm ET tomorrow afternoon.
Toronto dropped to 49 contracts at 2 p.m. today when Washington claimed Aube-Kubel off waivers.
Canucks playing the lifeless Preds tonight (3-0 already), so that’s 2pts in the bank to get them going in the right direction.
You do realize the Canucks tendencies this year right?
@Gbear—The paddles were brought out at the 65:00 mark tonight. And, Mr. Uncoachable gets the only goal in the post-overtime skills competition? And, it’s *not* a full moon tonight, either??? It’s like Hynes fell face-first into the manure pile just after the opening puck drop, and by the time he regained consciousness, he says “How much did we lose by tonight?” Mr. Uncoachable and his toy guitar tells him all he needs to know… :(
Oops. They lost.
@Mac – Hynes formula for success was refound last night: let Saros make 40+ saves and let the opponent wear themselves out! Add in Norris Trophy candidate Jordan Gross and victory is achieved!
Only the Canuckleheads could blow a 3-0 lead like that.
Copp, Albert Johansson and a 2nd for Horvat to become a Wing! If he signs a 7 x $7.5M contract.
Toronto calling Devan Dubnyk! Ha ha
@Johnny Z – Dubnyk’s phone was forwarded to David Ayres!
Clearly not Rutherford/Allvin guy . The signing of miller instead of Horvat proved that. At least he has trade value unlike Miller. In couple years from now canucks will have no Horvat. two of worse contracts in hockey Miller and Ekman Larsson.