Canucks trying to determine Horvat’s future

On this edition of After Hours, Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat joins John Garrett and Scott Oake to discuss whether the Canucks are 'afraid to lose', his hot start to the season, where his contract negotiations are at with the Canucks, and more.

At 3-6-2 and sitting near the bottom of the Pacific Division about a month into the 2022-23 season, the Vancouver Canucks are a team with more questions than answers right now.

And no single player is the subject of more intrigue at the moment than captain Bo Horvat.

Much like J.T. Miller last year, Horvat is the subject of much speculation when it comes to his contract situation and whether or not his time in Vancouver will be extended.

Horvat is in the final season of the six-year, $33-million deal he signed in 2017 and is set to hit unrestricted free agency in July. According to Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek, “there’s been no moving of the needle whatsoever in the contract talks.”

Horvat’s current contract carries a cap hit of $5.5 million.

On a team that’s struggling to score, Horvat is one of the lone players producing at a steady clip – he had scored 10 of the Canucks’ 38 goals on the season heading into Saturday night. He’s registered at least one point in all but three games so far.

The Canucks’ long-awaited answer to Miller’s situation last season was to re-sign the veteran forward to a seven-year extension in September, effectively silencing trade rumours that hovered over him nearly all of 2021-22. That new deal, and its $8-million AAV, kicks in next summer.

The focus of this year’s contract questions now lands squarely on the 27-year-old Horvat — a question that also carries the weight of the direction of the franchise, too.

Said Marek: “I think people are starting to get really curious here, when the Vancouver Canucks will decide on his fate either in Vancouver or elsewhere.”

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