Bo Horvat trade tree now features Horvat joining Cory Schneider in New York
Photo credit:© Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
9 months ago
With Bo Horvat being dealt to the Islanders, one of the most talked about conversations surrounding the Canucks this season has ended, and another has begun: Who’s the next captain?
The Horvat trade is monumental in a number of ways. The common denominator? It unravelled the work of two GMs across multiple organizations. This isn’t the first time the Canucks have sent their captain to the Islanders. In 1998, the Canucks sent their seven-year captain Trevor Linden to the New York Islanders in exchange for then-Islanders captain and defencemen Bryan McCabe, forward Todd Bertuzzi, and a third-round pick in the 1998 draft, used to select winger Jarkko Ruutu.
Sounds sort of familiar, doesn’t it? Albeit the Canucks couldn’t nab a defenceman for Horvat this time around, they acquired a young, project-building centre in Aatu Raty, and a winger in Anthony Beauvillier who they’re hoping to kickstart, with less than a 50-point season to his name.
Here we are now, 25 years later and the Canucks are back to testing their luck. The real pulse of the trade is the top-12 protected pick in the upcoming entry draft that could carry on to next year’s draft unprotected if the Islanders fail to make the playoffs this season, which is almost guaranteed at 84.6%. If this is the case, the Canucks’ will have to wait a full season to see where their dice roll lands: better or worse than pick 13, which is the best position they can have this draft if the Islanders do the unlikely and make the playoffs.
Horvat’s deal may mirror the Linden trade both in assets and circumstances, as Linden was traded days before representing team Canada for the 1998 Winter Olympics team. The Horvat trade also draws to a close a chapter of Canucks management history, the work of former GM, Mike Gillis.
It was Gillis who shipped the unlikely trade chip, goaltender Cory Schneider to the New Jersey Devils at the 2013 entry draft for the ninth-overall selection, which turned out to be none other than Bo Horvat. A testy deal for its time, the Schneider-Horvat trade also paid off for the Canucks, who acquired the 14th captain in their team history for Schneider, whose career fizzled out with the Devils due to injuries three years into his seven-year contract with the team.
Since then, Schneider has been all but obsolete. Despite only playing one game last season, and not playing at all the year prior, Schneider hasn’t retired. He’s even backed up this year for a team, it just wasn’t the Devils.
After the last two years of his contract were bought out by the Devils in 2020, Schneider signed a one-year deal with the Islanders and has continued to renew the contract ever since. But the Schneider-Horvat connection doesn’t even begin there. Lou Lamoriello was responsible for sending Horvat’s pick to the west coast for Schneider all the way back in 2013 when he was the GM for the Devils. The same Lou Lamoriello who now has both players under contract for the time being. That’s a plan 10 years in the making and the entire unravelling of Gillis’ last big move as Canucks GM. Small world, huh?
While Lamoriello is still the same gambling man, the Canucks, after allocating $13.5 million to J.T. Miller and Andrei Kuzmenko this season, are trying to temporally patch holes on the fly, while hatching plans for next year, depending on moves the Islanders make for the next two seasons. A trade of this calibre hasn’t been done in years for the Canucks and will send the organization into a completely new direction, without beloved captain Bo Horvat at the helm.
Coming up on the final year of Elias Pettersson’s contract, Allvin has rid the Canucks of Gillis’ lingering fingerprint on the team’s core and will now look to draft franchise-supporting characters that can ream the same benefits that the Canucks once felt during the team’s resurrection in the 2000s, which slowly, but surely, led to Vancouver’s decade-long domination.
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