It seems like the Vancouver Canucks have been in a rebuild for a long time and, in short, they should be faring better than they are now.
They hired general manager Jim Rutherford after he stepped away from the Pittsburgh Penguins, but even he has concerns. After a slew of rough looks, Rutherford admitted that the team needs “major surgery,” noting that he is looking to retool rather than rebuild. The Canucks have missed the playoffs for seven of the past eight seasons.
Rutherford’s public, desperate admission came after on-ice antics from JT Miller that saw him yelling at his teammates, making questionable plays, and throwing other players on the roster under the bus in front of the media. The Canucks’ issues were compounded by Quinn Hughes’ public allegations against team management surrounding Tanner Pearson’s season-ending (and maybe even career-ending?) injury as well as season-long trade rumors surrounding Bo Horvat. All of it has made a mess not even their most ardent fans can love: they’ve resorted to throwing their jerseys onto the ice in disgust.
So, the question becomes, what does Rutherford mean by “major surgery?” We look at three moves the Vancouver Canucks can realistically make before the trade deadline to help stop the proverbial bleeding.
The Vancouver Canucks should trade Bo Horvat ASAP
Those pesky trade rumors won’t go away, and Jim Rutherford even admitted that the Vancouver Canucks made Bo Horvat the best offer they can and, with no signing announced, trade packages are already being explored. “We’re in a pickle here,” Rutherford said of Horvat. “He’s had a career year, a career run and he’s looking for his money. He deserves it. I don’t blame him. But even with what we have on the table now … we’re well over the cap.” Rutherford notes that his career year, which has seen him score 30 goals in just over half the season, means he priced himself out of Vancouver.
Of course, the best move for the Canucks is to make the deal sooner rather than later, but their white flag likely means that Horvat’s trade value decreased, especially if he’s to be considered a rental player. But if whichever club wins the Bo Horvat sweepstakes can ink him to a long-term extension, trade value can go up.
So it’s now a matter of which team thinks they can get the most out of Bo Horvat: the Edmonton Oilers, Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders, among a handful of others, are in contention. The 27-year old has, essentially, his pick of the league, and its up to the Canucks to find the best offer for themselves.