The rumor mill is starting to heat up as the March 3rd trade deadline approaches. This year a few names have been circling the NHL, but none have been hotter than Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat. After failed contract negotiations in the offseason continued into the beginning of the season, Horvat finally turned down the Canucks final offer putting an end to his tenure in Vancouver. With Horvat set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason, the Canucks will be busy sellers at the deadline as they look to cash in before losing their team captain on the market for nothing. They will have plenty of suitors, as he has been linked to several teams over the past few weeks.
The question that has been lingering around the Horvat trade rumors has been what will the Canucks want in return for their 27-year-old captain?
Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reported Saturday night on the “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast that the Canucks want “three players, including a top prospect.”
“There was a lot of talk about this in the last 24 to 48 hours,” Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman added. “I think the reason is — I’m getting the impression that Vancouver is separating the teams that are willing to consider that or continue down that level of conversation from the teams that won’t. I think that’s what’s kinda been going on here. Vancouver is figuring out who is really serious. I don’t believe there’s anything imminent at this time, but I do think the Canucks know who’s in the game and who isn’t.”
Horvat is in the middle of a career year as he’s tallied 49 points in 46 games, and his 30 goals are just one behind his career-high set last season. He has also been effective on the powerplay this season, chipping in 11 goals and 17 points on the man advantage. His ability to do it all will certainly keep his price high as the Canucks know what type of player they have but also do not want to whiff and lose him for nothing come July.
Which team will step up and land him before the trade deadline? It’s one of the main NHL storylines to watch over the next month or so.