At the start of every single season, there will always be speculation surrounding the top pending unrestricted free agents right from the start. This year is no different and we have already explored this by bringing you the details of possible trades for two St Louis Blues stars. This time, we’ll be looking at another NHL rumour on a possible move for Vancouver Canucks’ star Bo Horvat.
NHL Rumours: Bo Horvat Could Leave Vancouver Canucks Soon
Rumour: Pierre Lebrun from The Athletic discusses the possibility of the Canucks trading one of their star players
Per Pierre LeBrun, Vancouver hopes to re-sign Horvat. However, there is a concern that it may become difficult to tie down the 27-year-old if their playoff hopes do not improve. Therefore, if general manager Jim Rutherford resigns himself to a rebuild he may be looking for a trade partner to avoid losing the club’s captain for free.
The Ontario-born forward would be a hot commodity for plenty of teams in the NHL. The centre is in great form, has plenty of experience in the top six and has a manageable contract. This will always attract attention from contenders who want a too-tier rental. Horvat also has no protection from trades, which could result in a few non-contenders sniffing around.
Teams Where Horvat Could Land
The Colorado Avalanche could be a potential suitor. They lost Nazem Kadri in the summer to free agency and no longer have a second-line centre of his calibre. They have assets in the form of useful prospects, but admittedly they have almost no picks in the coming draft.
The Philadelphia Flyers have improved significantly under John Tortorella. Currently, Philly sits just one point out of the wild card playoff spots, with two games in hand over the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers. If they are still in the mix towards the deadline, they will need a true top-six centre. Sean Couturier just had his second back surgery and faces another push into his recovery and comeback, getting four more months out. He could return for the playoffs but would need to shake the rust off, as he has not played since December 2021. Horvat would definitely bolster the forward core with strong point production and playmaking.
One surprise option could be the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team is crying out for a talented player to centre Johnny Gaudreau and Patrik Laine. This is a hole that Horvat, who has played on the first line plenty of times, could fill. However, Horvat may ask the Canucks to send him to a contender. If the request would be honoured, Columbus would be immediately ruled out. Another team that could take him is the Seattle Kraken, third in the Pacific. If they maintain their form, the club may look to acquire an experienced talent to ensure they make their first playoffs.