Botchford: I haven't had a chance to confirm..but I heard Bo Horvat deal is done, and it's a bridge deal— TSN Radio Vancouver (@TSN1040) September 1, 2017
Jason Botchford appeared as the first-ever guest on Jason Brough and Mike Halford’s TSN 1040 show on Friday and he dropped a pretty big bomb for it’s inauguration. According to Botchford, Bo Horvat’s new contract has been completed, and it’s a two or three year bridge deal that will delay the No. 9 pick from the 2013 draft’s big payday.
Horvat has been one of the hottest topics in Vancouver this summer. Last season, his third in the NHL, Horvat led the Canucks with 20 goals and 52 assists, and earned a spot on the Pacific Division’s All-Star roster. With his entry-level deal coming to an end, many speculated whether or not the Canucks would opt to give him a long-term deal, such as we’ve seen with other similar high draft picks like Sean Monahan, Nathan MacKinnon, and Alex Barkov recently.
If Botchford is correct in reporting that Horvat is signing a short-term deal rather than a long-term deal, the Canucks are mitigating one risk and creating another. If Horvat isn’t actually a star player, struggles against top competition, and can’t lead the team if/when the Sedins move on, they likely did a good thing in not shelling out a lot of money on a long-term deal. But if he is the stud, two-way centre every team wants to have who can consistently rack up 30 goals, he’ll only be two years from unrestricted free agency and will be able to command an even bigger contract.
There’s no exact science to this situation. The Sabres gave Cody Hodgson a long-term deal and bought him out just two years later. The Canadiens gave P.K. Subban a bridge deal and ended up signing him for likely twice the cap hit they could have had him at on a long-term deal if they had taken the gamble.
Lots of stories say Bo Horvat deal is done, agent Mark Guy just told me “We are still in negotiations.” #Canucks— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) September 1, 2017
That said, a contrasting report from Rick Dhaliwal citing Horvat’s agent, Rick Guy, claims that the two sides are still in negotiations and that no deal has actually been finalized.