With the Boston Bruins losing in the Bo Horvat sweepstakes, what player or players on the NHL trade market will they shift their focus on?
News broke early Monday night that the New York Islanders announced had acquired Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a conditional first-round selection in the 2023 NHL Draft. Later Monday night, the same trusted NHL source close to the situation that confirmed last week that the Bruins were in on Bo Horvat, told Boston Hockey Now the Bruins were one of three NHL trade suitors for Horvat until this past weekend.
According to this source, the Canucks just liked Raty more than the top prospect the Bruins and the other teams were offering, but also, the likely position of that conditional first-round selection from the Islanders will be better than that of the Bruins or this mystery team. It should also be noted that this same source told BHN on Tuesday, that the Canucks were not as hellbent on Bruins prospect Fabian Lysell, who had played junior hockey for the Vancouver Giants, as was reported here and elsewhere over the last month.
There was some chatter amongst NHL pro scouts that the Seattle Kraken or the Carolina Hurricanes were the other two teams, but Boston Hockey Now has been unable to confirm that. One NHL source though confirmed that the Detroit Red Wings were also in on the Horvat NHL trade sweepstakes at one point, but opted out earlier than the Bruins and the other mystery teams because they weren’t allowed to speak to Horvat and his agent Patrick Morris about an extension.
Could the Red Wings’ interest in Horvat pave the way for the Bruins and other NHL teams to make a push for Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin?
The 26-year-old, 6-foot-1, 198-pound center is in the final season of a five-year contract that carried a $6.1M AAV and has a no-trade clause that kicked in this season. After scoring 31 goals and finishing with 69 points in 71 games last season, Larkin has 15 goals and 28 assists in 47 games this season. His best season came in 2018-19 when he had 32 goals and 41 assists in 76 games.
“By all accounts, it doesn’t look good for Dylan Larkin staying in Detroit,” the source said of the negotiations between Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman and the pending unrestricted free agent. “That’s why they’re exploring other options there.”
According to Larkin’s agent Pat Brisson though, things don’t seem as dire between the Red Wings and his client.
“I’m not alarmed at all,” Brisson told hall of fame puck scribe and Detroit Hockey Now Red Wings reporter Kevin Allen last Thursday. “We are talking more the last few weeks.”
That hasn’t quelled the NHL trade speculation around Larkin though, and on Tuesday an NHL pro scout opined to BHN that he thinks Larkin could make tons of sense for the Bruins if they feel like there’s a strong chance Bruins captain Patrice Bergeron and fellow center David Krejci are in their last hurrah.
“I’ll tell you this, we tried to trade for him last year and it’s because he’s a gamer,” the source said. “He would blend right in with Bergeron, and Marchand for now but he’s still only 26 and has plenty of game left in him. I think he’s a Don Sweeney type player too. The two questions obviously are: will he waive the no-trade and will he give them a chance to extend?”