An NHL source has confirmed to Boston Hockey Now that reports of NHL trade talks between the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks picking up recently are indeed true. According to this source, Canucks captain and center Bo Horvat has been the center of attention for Bruins general manager Don Sweeney, as he is for GM’s of other Stanley Cup contending teams.
“I know they’re one of about five really interested teams for Horvat but obviously the price is high,” the well placed source told BHN on Tuesday morning. “Of course these GM’s want some kind of security that they will be able to extend Horvat and bring him in with term but can you blame him if he wants to test the market with the season he’s having?”
The source mentioned the Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes, and Seattle Kraken as other teams interested in acquiring Horvat.
Note: TSN and The Athletic NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun has reported that the Bruins could also be interested in Canucks defenseman Luke Schenn.
Horvat is in the final season of a six-year contract he signed as a restricted free agent in 2017 and that carries a $5.5 million AAV. He will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. After a career-high 31 goals last season, the 6-foot, 215-pound, 27-year-old pivot has 30 goals and 48 points in 43 games this season.
On Monday, Canucks President Jim Rutherford all but assured that Horvat will be dealt before the March 3 NHL Trade Deadline this past Monday.
“We, I believe, have taken our best shot,” he said. “The contract we have on the table for Bo I think is a fair contract for what he’s done up until this year. But it’s certainly under market value for what he’s done this year.”
Just over a month ago, an NHL pro scout and executive source opined to BHN on the potential of and whether or not it makes sense for the Bruins to get involved in the Bo Horvat NHL trade sweepstakes.
“If you think there’s a really good chance that you’re losing both Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci after this season, I don’t see how you at least don’t look into this if you’re Don Sweeney,” one of the 14 NHL scouts that was on hand on Dec. 13 for the Bruins’ 4-3 shootout win over the New York Islanders told Boston Hockey Now that night.
The NHL executive source however, expressed caution on the Bruins’ behalf. He also speculated that Bruins top prospect Fabian Lysell and a first round pick would be the starting point in any NHL trade talks between the Bruins and Canucks.
“I’m not sure I mess with anything that’s going on in Boston right now,” an NHL executive opined to BHN on Wednesday. “I totally agree that in terms of the center position going forward, that makes sense, but are we that sure Bergeron’s gone after this season? I’ll tell you one thing though, any Horvat talks when it comes to the Bruins and Canucks will definitely start with [Fabian] Lysell and a first round pick. So even if you are thinking about it, do you really want to move Lysell and first rounder in what could be one of the best drafts ever?”
Since then, BHN has confirmed multiple times that the Canucks will indeed want Fabian Lysell in any NHL trade package from the Bruins. The 19-year-old, 2021 first round pick (21st overall), has eight goals and 13 assists in 24 games for the Providence Bruins (AHL) this season.
The common belief is that it will take a first round pick, maybe even two, and high end prospect to get a deal for Horvat done on the NHL trade sweepstakes.