Could The Colorado Avalanche Go All In On Bo Horvat?

After winning the Stanley Cup last season with what can be considered a juggernaut of a team, the Avalanche have fallen on hard times halfway through the 2022-23 season. Their lack of success this season can be attributed to injury as the team was decimated, losing star after star. They also lost their second-line center in free agency as well as their starting goaltender, two key losses.

The Avalanche are currently sitting sixth in the Central Division a year after winning it with 119 points. Their 20-16-3 record and 43 points trail the Nashville Predators, St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Winnipeg Jets, and division-leading Dallas Stars. The only two teams separating them from the bottom are the Chicago Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes. Both of those teams are currently fighting for the #1 overall pick in this year’s draft.

The Avs could address their needs at the March 3rd trade deadline, and one interesting name has been linked to the defending champs.

Bo Horvat’s future with the Vancouver Canucks has been a hot topic since he declined their final contract extension. His time north of the border seems to have ended, as it’s almost certain he will be on the move.

On Saturday, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek mentioned that “a lot of people” had talked about the 27-year-old Horvat perhaps heading to the Colorado Avalanche.

As mentioned, the Avalanche have been lacking an experienced second-line center after losing Nazem Kadri this past August when he signed with the Calgary Flames. Last season Kadri played a vital role for the team as he finished with 28 goals and 59 assists for 87 points. He also added seven goals and eight assists during their playoff run. Horvat would definitely address the issue and fill the void left by Kadri.

Acquiring Horvat will not come cheap for the Avs, and The Athletic’s Peter Baugh believes the Avs lack sufficient trade chips to meet the Canucks’ asking price. While this may be the case, Pierre LeBrun reported last month that they would seek a “hockey deal” to upgrade at center or defense rather than a return of future assets.

According to Cap Friendly, Colorado lacks the necessary cap space required for a trade. For the trade to happen, the Canucks would have to retain part of Horvat’s remaining cap hit, while the Avalanche would have to send them a player to make the dollars fit.

On the season, Horvat is enjoying a career year with 29 goals and 16 assists for 45 points, with ten goals coming from the power play.

This story will be worth monitoring, with less than two months remaining until the deadline. It will be interesting to see what general manager Chris MacFarland does in his first season at the helm after taking over for Joe Sakic in July.

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Kevin Santangelo

Co Host of Cue' the Duck Boats Podcast Writer for Inside the Rink

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