NHL Rumor Mill – September 13, 2022
The latest on Bo Horvat’s contract negotiations with the Canucks plus speculation about Brendan Gallagher’s future with the Canadiens in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.
LATEST ON HORVAT’S CONTRACT TALKS
VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Rob Simpson reports Canucks captain Bo Horvat said he’s leaving contract negotiations with his agent and team management. He said he loves playing for the Canucks and he and his family love living in Vancouver. However, he acknowledged this is a lengthy process.
Horvat and his agent, Pat Morris, are declining to discuss details of the contract talks with the media. Nevertheless, Simpson suggests this could lead to speculation and become a potential distraction if no deal is in place before the season opens on Oct. 12.
THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston reminds us that Horvat has a year remaining on his current contract. He’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The 27-year-old center offered up no deadline for the completion of his talks.
Horvat also indicated he’s fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered at the end of last season. While he understands there will be plenty of speculation over his future, he said his focus for the coming season is helping the Canucks win.
SPORTSNET: Iain MacIntyre reports Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin wants to sign Horvat to a contract extension. However, he offered neither optimism nor pessimism when questioned about it last week following the club’s signing J.T. Miller to a long-term extension.
MacIntyre speculates Horvat should be more affordable to sign, adding the Canucks have the cap space to retain him. He anticipates he’ll get a raise from $5.5 million to $7 million annually on his next deal.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It could take time for the Canucks and Horvat’s agent to hammer out an agreement. Perhaps those talks will carry over into the coming season.
Nevertheless, we should probably take any speculation over the status of Horvat’s talks or his future in Vancouver with a grain of salt. Miller was a fixture in the rumor mill for months amid reports of little contract discussion throughout this summer yet his new deal ultimately came together pretty quickly. The same thing could happen with Horvat.
ARE THE CANADIENS TRYING TO SHOP GALLAGHER?
MONTREAL GAZETTE: Stu Cowan observed Brendan Gallagher has five seasons left on his six-year, $39-million contract. Should Gallagher rebound from last season’s disappointing, injury-plagued performance, there’s a very good chance Canadiens GM Kent Hughes will trade the 30-year-old winger if he can find a partner.
Cowan speculates Hughes is “probably already trying to trade Gallagher as the Canadiens look to rebuild with youth and gain salary-cap space.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Cowan noted, Gallagher’s best seasons are probably behind him now. Injuries have hampered him in recent years and affected his performance.
A healthy, productive Gallagher will still be difficult to trade. He’s carrying an average annual value of $6.5 million through 2026-27 with a no-movement clause that ensures he cannot be demoted and a six-team no-trade list.
Gallagher will be staying in Montreal unless Hughes is willing to retain part of his cap hit, include a sweetener like a quality draft pick or prospect, or take back an expensive contract in return.