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How the Canucks’ J.T. Miller extension changes Bo Horvat’s contract projection

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Strang
2 months ago
In early June of this year, we looked at different contract comparables for Bo Horvat in an attempt to project what an extension might look like. The Canucks captain only has one more season left on his current deal and will almost definitely sign a long-term extension before the season starts.
After looking at contracts that other centres have signed around the league in recent years, the final projection was $6.75 million per season over eight years. The extension was also projected to include a significant no-trade / no-movement clause that would help the Canucks save a few dollars.
Now that the Canucks have signed J.T. Miller to a long-term extension, all the attention turns to Horvat’s situation. The Canucks would like to sign Horvat before the puck drops on this season. If they fail to do that, they risk the situation turning into a media frenzy and potentially a major distraction.

How close are we to a deal?

With the J.T. Miller contract, there was very little news that leaked before the extension was officially announced. In fact, it seemed as if all summer the only news that was coming out about the negotiations was surrounding how far apart the two sides were. Despite that, they managed to come to an agreement and get a tidy piece of business completed before the season starts.
Similarly, the rumour mill has been relatively quiet on Horvat extension talks.
“It is pretty quiet [with Horvat extension talks] but it was quiet with Miller as well,” said NHL insider Elliotte Friedman. “There is a little bit of a gap but both sides want to get it done.”
While extension talks may be quiet, it definitely seems like both sides are interested in coming to an agreement.
“We still continue to talk here and as I said, we have a lot of respect for Bo. Bo is our captain here and he’s been a good player for his stint in Vancouver,” said general manager Patrik Allvin.“Hopefully we can figure something out here.”

Does Miller’s contract change Horvat’s projected extension? 

While signing Miller doesn’t necessarily change how much Horvat is going to get on this extension, it does make saving every dollar a crucial task for the Canucks. When Miller’s contract kicks in next season, the Canucks are going to have six players (seven if Horvat re-sings over this number) getting paid at least $6 million a season.
Miller did take a little bit of a discount in accepting a seven-year contract. It lowered the total value of the contract yet Miller seemed happy to do it to stay in Vancouver. Ideally, Horvat would be willing to do something similar to keep the core of the team together in Vancouver.
As a 30-goal scoring centre, Horvat belongs to a rare and valued group across the NHL. Locking him up long term at a reasonable contact would be a major accomplishment for the Canucks and give the organization a core group of forwards that could contend with the league’s best.

What are the other factors the Canucks need to consider with a Horvat extension? 

The Canucks do have RFA contract talks with Vasily Podkolzin, Elias Pettersson, and Nils Höglander on the horizon. It’s a delicate balancing act between icing the best team possible for next season while also ensuring there is enough wiggle room under the salary cap to keep all these young players in Canucks uniforms.
The Elias Pettersson extension is the big one to keep an eye on for the organization. His performance in the next two years will decide in what range that extension comes in at. While Pettersson has shown extreme skill and tons of potential thus far throughout his NHL career, he hasn’t been able to put it all together yet at a level that would see him among the league’s top earners.
However, any Canucks fan knows that he has the ability to reach that level over the next two seasons. His large extension could very well be worth around $9-10 million per season. With Horvat and Miller getting new extensions the season before, the Canucks need to make sure that they can manage the books and keep everyone around or extract max value for assets in a trade.

New prediction for contract

After seeing how negotiations have progressed between Horvat’s group and the Canucks — along with the knowledge of Miller’s contract extension — we now expect the centreman to get $7 million over 8 years. This is slightly higher than what we projected back in June but with the team showing a commitment to Miller and talks not moving as fast as expected, this deal would make sense and provide positives for both sides.

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