The New York Islanders put pen to paper and signed newest acquisition Bo Horvat to an eight-year extension with an AAV of $8.5 million on Sunday, and general manager Lou Lamoriello had some rather interesting things to say about the deal.
New York acquired Horvat six days ago in a blockbuster trade that sent Aatu Raty, Anthony Beauvillier, and a first-round pick back to the Vancouver Canucks. And, while a high-paying extension was more than expected for the former Canucks captain, Lamoriello quipped that it was a bit too expensive.
“All I can tell you, it’s too long, and it’s too much money,” Lamoriello said. “You want the truth?”
Lamoriello reiterated later on that he is not a fan of the long-term deals that are becoming more popular in the modern era, so the comment wasn’t a jab at Horvat, but a jab at the league and salary cap.
“Well, I think it’s usually the solidifying fact that you don’t want to do (an eighth year),” Lamoriello said. “As I said, contracts these days are too long.”
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Horvat and Mat Barzal will both be the highest-paid forwards on the roster next season. Looking ahead to handling the cap situation going forward, Lamoriello wouldn’t dive into specifics.
“We’ll just worry about today right now,” Lamoriello added. “I’m sure we’ll find a way.”
Still, Horvat will be a major help to the Islanders, who have been begging for offense and goal-scoring. Having a player of Horvat’s caliber brings another strong scoring presence to the table, as well as more star power up front. Through 49 games this season, Horvat has 31 goals and 23 assists. He has hit 30 goals in back-to-back years and has put up 20 goals in six of his last seven seasons.
For Lamoriello, that makes Horvat worth it, as he also plays well in his own end.
“We’ve got a player of this caliber who brings it every night and is a 200-foot player,” Lamoriello said. “There’s no question he’ll be an asset to our team.”