To say Vancouver's start to the 2022-23 season has been rough is an understatement. Prior to Friday's game against the Los Angeles, the Canucks sit seventh in the Pacific Division with a 5-9-3 record through 17 games.
With the NHL's trade deadline 15 weeks away, the Canucks have some tough decisions to make, none bigger than figuring out what to do with captain Bo Horvat
, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
There hasn't been a whole lot of contract talks between the Canucks and Horvat's camp, which makes it seem that the pair are heading for a split by the time March 3rd's deadline rolls around.
During Friday's edition of the 32 Thoughts Podcast, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman linked Horvat to a pair of Eastern Conference teams, the Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals.
"I heard some rumours about Columbus, that makes a lot of sense, Columbus could really use a centre". Friedman said.
Columbus would be an interesting option, but given the fact they're tied for last in the Eastern Conference with Ottawa, it seems more likely they'll be option if Horvat hits the open market in July. According to CapFriendly
, the Blue Jackets have $10,266,667 in available salary cap for the 2023-24 season.
As for the Washington Capitals, Friedman thinks they could become a team in the hunt for Horvat, depending on the health of centerman Nicklas Backstrom
"I think they're going to be a fantastic team to watch. Number one, probably, they got to figure out if there's any chance that Backstrom could play here. I have to say if he can't, I wonder if they become a Horvat team." Friedman said.
While Vancouver has struggled, Horvat has been off to an impressive start to his ninth year in the NHL. In 17 games, he's put up 20 points (14 goals, six assists), six penalty minutes and has an even-rating.
Which team do you think is a better fit for the services of Bo Horvat
, Columbus or Washington? Let us know your thoughts in the poll below!