If there was any concern that Bo Horvat was the one holding up any extension talks with the Vancouver Canucks, he put it to rest today. Horvat explained to the media including Thomas Drance of The Athletic that he wants to be a part of the Canucks long-term, and that he is leaving the negotiation up to his agents without putting a deadline on the talks.
Horvat, 27, is signed through the end of 2022-23 at a $5.5MM cap hit, the final season in a six-year, $33MM contract he inked in 2017. The two-way center was named the 14th captain in franchise history in 2019 at the age of 24, following Henrik Sedin’s tenure with the “C.”
It seemed earlier this summer like an extension was inevitable but after the team handed seven years and $56MM to J.T. Miller, some have wondered whether the Canucks would be able to fit Horvat in on a long-term deal.
The good thing in this scenario is that there doesn’t appear to be any rush from either side. Sometimes, players put a deadline of the beginning of the season on negotiations, not wanting to have any conversations while they are playing. That’s what happened with the Calgary Flames and Johnny Gaudreau, for instance, leaving a short window after the year ended to try and get something done before the star forward reached free agency.
If Horvat hasn’t put a timeline on things, there will be more space to breathe for the Canucks and time to move in a different direction if necessary. Still, if an extension isn’t worked out in the next few weeks, plenty of questions will follow Horvat throughout the year.