The Vancouver Canucks have one of the best trade chips available this year. Star forward Bo Horvat is likely to be traded as contract talks between him and the Canucks have stalled.
As we inch closer to the NHL trade deadline on March 3, Horvat’s name will only be discussed more. Trade talks are already heating up as the team narrows down the top contenders for their captain’s services.
The Canucks have had a very poor season. Vancouver sits far away from the playoff race, and have rubbed fans the wrong way in recent days. Sunday’s firing of Bruce Boudreau was the worst-kept secret in hockey for months.
Now that the Canucks finally have their desired coach, they turn their attention to trading Horvat. With no further ado, here are the three best landing spots for Canucks captain Bo Horvat.
3) Seattle Kraken
The Seattle Kraken were only recently linked to the Canucks star. The NHL’s youngest franchise is enjoying a great second season in existence, and adding Horvat would be a huge get.
Seattle is currently in second place in the Pacific Division. However, they are only one point behind the Vegas Golden Knights for the division lead. A playoff birth for the second-year franchise looks to be on the cards.
However, the Kraken need reinforcements. The separation between first place and fifth place in the Pacific Division is just seven points. If Seattle wants to secure a playoff spot, acquiring Horvat would go a long way.
The 27-year-old Canucks captain adds leadership to a team that would certainly benefit from it. Furthermore, Horvat is a playmaker who slots right into the top line and allows Jordan Eberle more goal-scoring opportunities.
A Horvat trade moves All-Star Matty Beniers down to the second line. However, it’s a necessary move to separate themselves from the rest of the Pacific Division.
2) Carolina Hurricanes
The Hurricanes have engaged the Canucks in Horvat trade talks recently. Carolina could certainly use more star power in the middle of the ice, even though they have played well thus far.
The Hurricanes lead the Metropolitan Division with 66 points on the season. Carolina holds a two-point lead over the New Jersey Devils at the summit of the division.
They aren’t in a tight battle for a playoff spot like Seattle. However, they stand to improve their center depth. Top line center Sebastian Aho has had a nice season, but beyond that, it’s a bit uninspiring.
Carolina’s second-line center is currently Paul Stastny. The veteran center has played 45 games but has three goals and 14 points thus far. To be fair to the 37-year-old, he does have one of the best faceoff percentages on the team.
However, Horvat’s faceoff percentage is rather similar. He has a 56.1% mark while Stastny holds a 58.8% faceoff percentage. The Canucks captain provides better point production while providing a similar success rate in the faceoff circle.
Ultimately, the Hurricanes want to make a deep playoff run this season. Adding Horvat to an incredibly talented group certainly goes a long way toward achieving that goal.
1) Boston Bruins
The Bruins are the NHL’s best team record-wise. Goaltender Linus Ullmark has had an unbelievable season in net as Boston has simply dominated the league.
The Bruins are also linked to Horvat, though they may not necessarily need him. In any event, he’d be a huge addition to their team if they can make the deal work.
However, making the deal work is easier said than done for Boston. The Bruins are right up against the salary cap, and still need to extend star winger David Pastrnak.
Furthermore, the Canucks are looking for a young center in exchange for Horvat. Boston does not have a center in their farm system with top six potential right now.
A deal for Horvat isn’t impossible. If the two teams can compromise on a few things, adding Horvat to the Bruins lineup would certainly cement Boston as not only contenders but Stanley Cup favorites.