When the New York Islanders announced that they had acquired Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Räty, and a 2023 conditional first-round pick, we were waiting for the follow-up alert that contained contract extension details.
“Nothing has been discussed yet. It all kind of all happened so fast. So yeah, no talk on it yet,” Horvat said. “Obviously, we’ll see if we can get something done, but I’ll leave that to Pat (Morris, his agent) and everybody to handle that.”
Lamoriello backed up Horvat’s claim.
“We really haven’t had any discussions yet, but I feel confident that whenever you make a transaction like this, you make it for a player that you feel has character and knows what a team gives up,” Lamoriello said. “And certainly, you know, feels comfortable in the organization he’s in…I think all of that. He’ll recognize it quickly, and hopefully, we’ll get that done.”
An NHL source told NYI Hockey Now late on Monday night that the New York Islanders are currently working hard to finalize an extension with Bo Horvat.
Horvat is having a career year with 31 goals and 23 assists in 49 games. The Islanders needed offensive support after averaging under two goals per game in a 4-8-3 January and are two points out of a wild-card spot.
As for why Lamoriello felt like Monday was the right time for this move:
“I’ve always felt that the sooner you can make a trade that you think will help your team at any time during the year, that a player that potentially would be available. We felt that Bo, from everything we’ve seen and the different transactions that have happened in Vancouver over the last month, possibly he would be moved away,” Lamoriello said.
“We inquired and did it in a very confidential way with the Vancouver executive committee, Patrick [Allvin] and Jim [Rutherford]. So we were able to get this set. We have to give something to get something. It’s not something that we wanted to do, but I think with the depth that we have down the middle, this is something that we feel improved our hockey team, today and tomorrow.”
Lamoriello concluded: “We’re dealing with a 27-year-old player in his prime.”
What Could an Extension Look Like
During our Zoom meeting with Bo Horvat, he was adamant that he thought he would finish out his career with the Vancouver Canucks.
“I thought I was going to be a Canuck for life, to be honest with you, and just things didn’t work out that way. And it led me to this,” Horvat said.
Back in mid-December, around the same time NYI Hockey Now reported the Islanders reaching out to the Canucks about Horvat, CHEK’s Rick Dhaliwal shared that he believed the Canucks had gone as far as they could go with Horvat and a trade was coming.
"As of right now I believe they have gone as far as they can go.."
— Donnie & Dhali (@DonnieandDhali) December 12, 2022
Dhaliwal also stated that he believed the offer to Horvat was lower than what the Canucks gave J.T. Miller on his extension, which carried an $8.5 million annual value.
A month later, on Jan. 16, Vancouver Canucks president of hockey operations, Jim Rutherford, addressed the media regarding Horvat’s contract status.
“I believe we’ve taken out best shot. And the contract that we have on the table for Bo [Horvat] right now, I think, is a fair contract for what he’s done up until this year,” Rutherford said. “But it’s certainly under market value for what he’s done this year.”
“We’re in a pickle here.”
One would think that Horvat’s extension with the Islanders would need to be at Miller’s price tag or a tad higher.
Horvat could get $8.5 million annually for seven to eight years.
The Islanders have a few decisions to make, as a few players could be on the move if the Islanders fall out of the race. There could be a few players still to come. Horvat knows his worth, and the Islanders understand that the open market, come season’s end, would provide Horvat with more different opportunities for potentially higher wages.
So, Lamoriello has to hit a price and sell the Islanders’ future for Horvat to put pen to paper.
Lamoriello is not one to make trades for rentals, and it would be a failure of a trade if Horvat leaves after the season.