Vancouver Canucks: Bo Horvat out six weeks, what it means


The Vancouver Canucks received bad news on the injury front, with Bo Horvat expected to be out ‘weeks’ following an injury on his right leg. What does this mean for the team going forward?

A 3-0 win for the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday night came at a price, with centre Bo Horvat leaving the game following a lower leg injury. According to Irfaan Gaffar of Sportsnet, Horvat could be out for up to six weeks:

This is a brutal blow to the Canucks — who are jockeying for a playoff spot in the tight Western Conference. Horvat was on pace for a career year, with 10 goals and 20 points in 28 games. He and Brock Boeser have formed one of the league’s most dynamic scoring duos, helping the Canucks stay pace for the Pacific Division crown up to this point.

Sam Gagner centred Boeser’s line to finish out the game on Tuesday, and Dan Murphy of Sportsnet predicts the same thing tonight. The versatile Gagner is naturally a centre, but spent 2016-17 and all of this season on the wing.

There is simply no replacing Horvat right now, and the Canucks aren’t in a great position to deal away young assets for a quick replacement. The solution is going to have to come from within.

What this injury means

With Horvat gone, Gagner will probably get at least a couple of games on the first line. With Brandon Sutter also nursing an upper body injury, don’t be surprised if the Canucks call up Reid Boucher.

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This could mean that Henrik Sedin‘s line gets more playing time, and why not? The twins have been better off with less minutes, and it’s helped them stay fresh and log crucial minutes near the end of close games.

Markus Granlund has centred the shutdown line, but now head coach Travis Green has the option to bring last season’s 19-goal man into the top-six. There are lots of ways for him to get crafty with the line combinations.

Losing Horvat does hurt, no doubt. But the Canucks have very solid depth at centre, and Sutter’s injury isn’t long term. Vancouver still has four potential impact centres in Gagner, Granlund, Henrik and Sutter.

That’s still a solid set of centres. And with Gagner struggling on the wing (just 11 points in 28 games this season), perhaps a move back to his natural position will ignite the 50-point man we saw in Columbus last year.

With Horvat out, it’s now “next man up.”


Losing Bo Horvat is a big blow to the Canucks early playoff hopes. However, they’ve survived long-term injuries to Chris Tanev, Troy Stecher and Alexander Edler — by far their top-three defencemen.

Though Horvat is undoubtedly this team’s top centre, they have the roster depth to somewhat replace the gaping hole he leaves behind. The other four centres all have scoring touches and just might be able to find chemistry with Boeser.

Next: Week 8 Top prospects: Tryamkin, DiPietro, Gadjovich

The Canucks have surpassed pre-season expectations by staying in not only the playoff picture, but in the race for the Pacific Division crown as well. They have been battle tested early, but playing the next few weeks without their top centre will be the greatest challenge yet.