On Friday morning, the Vancouver Canucks announced that they re-signed Bo Horvat to a six-year deal. Here’s what the contract extension means going forward.
Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning finished his final piece of business on Friday, as the team re-signed centre Bo Horvat to a six-year deal worth $33 million, according to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.
As Iain MacIntrye from Sportsnet pointed it out, Horvat will average about $5.5 million per season. Horvat was widely expected to re-sign for about five-to-six years, with a salary of around $5-6 million per season. So the contract details aren’t exactly surprising.
The Canucks drafted Horvat with the ninth overall pick in 2013, which was acquired from the New Jersey Devils in the Cory Schneider trade.
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Horvat led the Canucks in scoring last season, with 20 goals and 52 points. He was the only Canuck to hit the 20-goal mark, and the 22-year-old was due for a big payday.
With the Sedin twins entering their age-37 seasons (which also happen to be contract years), Horvat is being groomed into becoming the face of the franchise.
This deal made all the sense in the world, and the Canucks were wise to get this done well before preseason starts.
Now that the Horvat extension is out of the way, let’s take a glance at what this means for the team going forward.
Tight for cap space
With Horvat signing on the dotted line, Vancouver has to keep an eye on their salary cap situation. According to CapFriendly, they only have just under $1.98 million remaining in cap space.
The Canucks could get salary cap relief with the Sedins combined $14 million cap hit expiring at the end of the seasons. If and when the Canucks extend them, you have to think they’ll be taking massive pay cuts.
Erik Gudbranson is a pending UFA, as is newcomer Thomas Vanek who signed a one-year deal last week. The good news is that Vancouver will open up more cap space, but Benning will be quite busy next summer.
Markus Granlund, Sven Baertschi and Troy Stecher are all RFAs next summer. Each player could command upwards of $3 million a season, so Benning is going to have to make sure he has the space to do it. That’s life when your star player signs a new deal that eats up a big chunk of their cap space.
Horvat’s extension is a big win for all parties involved. He gets paid after coming off a breakout season, and you have to think we still haven’t seen Horvat reach his ceiling yet. He could be a consistent 60-70 point player, for all we know.
If Horvat continues to improve his game, this contract could actually be quite a bargain for the Canucks. On Friday, we officially learned that they’re ready to make Horvat the next face of the franchise, on a team-friendly deal.