NHL Rumor Mill – September 5, 2022

by | Sep 5, 2022 | Rumors | 14 comments

What effect will J.T. Miller’s new contract have on Bo Horvat’s efforts to get a new deal with the Canucks? Could Miller still be shopped despite re-signing with the Canucks? How could it affect Conor Garland? Find out in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE PROVINCE: Patrick Johnston pointed out that J.T. Miller’s new seven-year contract extension with the Vancouver Canucks raised some questions for the club.

Vancouver Canucks center Bo Horvat (NHL Images).

Among them was what Miller’s new deal means for Bo Horvat. The 27-year-old Canucks captain is in the final season of his contract with an average annual value of $5.5 million. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.

Horvat can sign an extension now but Johnston wondered if the Canucks can afford to have him, Miller and Elias Pettersson as their top-three centers beyond this season. “If an extension doesn’t come soon, the trade watch will be on for Horvat,” he writes.

VANCOUVER HOCKEY NOW: Prior to Miller’s re-signing, Rob Simpson anticipated Horvat could get between $6.25 million and $6.5 million annually on his next contract, perhaps a little lower if he agrees to an eight-year extension.

Following the news of Miller’s new contract, Simpson felt Horvat could get between $6.5 million and $7.25 million on a long-term extension. He speculated the Canucks captain will likely be signed in September or perhaps the Friday prior to the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend given management’s recent habit of re-signing a key player on the Friday before a holiday weekend.

Whatever Horvat gets will affect the other Canucks eligible for UFA or restricted free agent status next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Canucks management has indicated they want to stock up on young, affordable talent. However, the recent signings of Miller and Brock Boeser show they also want to keep their roster core intact.

According to Cap Friendly, the Canucks have over $68 million invested in 14 players for 2023-24 with Horvat, Nils Hoglander and Travis Dermott among their notable free agents. Re-signing their captain will result in the Canucks making some cost-cutting decisions next summer.

CHEK-TV’s Rick Dhaliwal reported that Canucks president of hockey ops Jim Rutherford said that Miller’s new contract “will not impact Bo,” adding they would like to sign Horvat. We’ll find out soon enough if the two sides can work out an extension before the season opens next month. Otherwise, his name could start surfacing in media trade gossip.

Johnston also pointed out that the Canucks are over the $82.5 million salary cap with their current roster for the coming season. They would like to find another defenseman so something has to give.

Conor Garland’s energy and production could make him a valuable trade chip. Johnston suggests the asking price could be a late first-round pick.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Garland was the subject of trade rumors midway through last season but those faded away as the Canucks made a push for a playoff spot. The 26-year-old winger would draw interest in the trade market but the Canucks might not have to go that route.

Cap Friendly indicates they’re sitting above the cap by over $2.7 million but could garner cap relief by placing Micheal Ferland and his $3.5 million cap hit on long-term injury reserve for the coming season. However, it won’t leave much room to add a right-side blueliner.

Perhaps Garland will be used as trade bait for that defenseman. It would have to be for one with an annual cap hit comparable to Garland’s $4.95 million.

Johnston also didn’t rule out the Canucks trading Miller if this season goes badly. He lacks a no-trade clause in his current contract. Some teams may have been hesitant about acquiring Miller but could be more interested now that he has a long-term deal.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That could happen but I doubt it will. Canucks management sees Miller as a vital part of their core as they hope to push themselves into Stanley Cup contention over the next few years. A poor performance by the club this season probably won’t change that opinion.


  1. Garland will have to go. One of kids can take his minutes.
    Bo will be in the $7m range for sure.
    Canucks have a nice combination up the middle . Either Miller or Pettersson can flip to wing

    • “Johnston wondered if the Canucks can afford to have him, Miller and Elias Pettersson as their top-three centers beyond this season” what’s there to wonder? How to fit under the cap? What are the options if not that? I too believe that’s not bad up the middle, you know where you need really good players playing there if you want to win, and those three if used as such would be a good base to build out from.
      I guess unlike Johnston, I can’t see why they wouldn’t want all three if they could.

      • Having three centres for the first two lines seems to be a good idea given the way the game is played today. Those three have subbed around for different draws last season. Canucks especially subject the injury bug over their season, so having that option also good for them. But Garland probably needs to be traded to get some cap room.

  2. Bo. Wants to be a Bruin 😎

    • You sound like a Leaf fan! This coming from a Leaf fan points to an objective admission that we all like to think all players should want to be a Leaf!

  3. Until the cap starts increasing significantly there’s going to be fewer trades and free agent signings. Simply because more and more teams will be pushing against the cap.

  4. I would have to think they find a home for Tyler Myers and his 6mil cap hit either this year or next. Maybe to team like Arizona or Buffalo with a sweetener.

  5. Vancouver could trade a draft pick for Justin holl and help solve both teams cap issues.

  6. 🍁 with J.T. Miller’s new contract done

    Could Millar become the New Captain…. if they move out Bo Horvatt for a Top 4 D/man ?
    $7.M is to much for Bo Horvatt with an avrage of 45 point’s a year

    The Canucks d meed’s a majior shake up-re-build,
    They Have 3 old guys with there play on the way down..! and 2 of them are in the top 4 its a very weak area for the Canucks
    Oliver Ekman-Larsson $8.3M for 5 more years❗️
    Tyler Myers $6.M for 2 more years ❗️
    Luke Schenn is a 7 or 8 d/man now

    All they have thats good on the d is Qunn Hughes & Dermott, they have Jet Woo coming and a couple of others… They have Picks and prospects and some forwards like Horvatt & Garland to re-shape there team

    Canucks really need to re-build there d
    if they want to go any where in the next few years they wont get out of the pacific with this d set up
    its taking them no-where again🤔

    • Easily done: Bo Horvat + Connor Garland for Seth Jones

      • Johnny z..im not a Blackhawks or Canucks fan but not a bad idea for both teams.
        Vancouver gets the top 4 dman they want Chicago gets two good younger players in Garland Horvath…can move on from Horvath if they want.

    • @ williew I doubt that Jet Woo plays more than 10 NHL games ever. Hope I’m wrong though.

  7. I like Horvat but he isnt a 7m guy, he is partly used as a shutdown C but that isnt really his thing, but he is used like that because he is good on faceoffs. He is a 40-50p player and 20-30 goals in his prime. I also think they cant have 3rd lince C making 7m. There is one option and that is to sign Bo and trade EP because he has the highest value and since they upped Miller they are in win now mode and looking for a top 4 RD

  8. Sweeney ….Give P.K. Subban a million