WDYTF: Horvat-gate reactions and who Canucks fans are pulling for in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs
7 months ago
Welcome back to WDYTF, the only hockey column on the internet more regular than a Metamucil devotee.
Speaking of regular, the 2022/23 regular season is over, and the Vancouver Canucks were unsuccessful in their bid to make the postseason. But that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any Canucks in the playoffs…so long as we can count former Canucks!
Bo Horvat went to Long Island and played a major role in dragging the Islanders into a playoff position.
Luke Schenn went back to his draft team in Toronto, and is now poised to faceoff with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the team he won two Stanley Cups with, in the first round.
Curtis Lazar, meanwhile, joins the other Hughes Brothers in New Jersey as they attempt to make some noise.
Several other former Canucks are scattered across the rosters of the 16 postseason hopefuls.
In the Pacific, the Los Angeles Kings have Alex Edler and Zack MacEwen on hand. The Seattle Kraken are led by Jared McCann, and the Vegas Golden Knights still have Ben Hutton in the mix.
In the Central, Brad Hunt is a Colorado Avalanche, the Winnipeg Jets have Sam Gagner and Nate Schmidt, and that’s about it.
In the Metropolitan, you’ve got Jalen Chatfield on the Carolina Hurricanes, the aforementioned Lazar in New Jersey, the aforementioned Horvat in New York, and Tyler Motte and Jimmy Vesey in the other New York.
In the Atlantic, it’s just Schenn in Toronto and Gustav Forsling with the Florida Panthers.
That’s a lot of former Canucks to choose from, and that might not even be the deciding factor when it comes to choosing someone to root for in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
And, yes, we acknowledge that a lot of Vancouver fans won’t outright cheer for anyone at all this postseason. But someone has to win at the end of it all, and everybody has preferences.
That’s why, this week, we’re going to phrase it very carefully and ask:
Of the 16 options, who do you most want to win the Stanley Cup in 2023?
Let it be known in the comment section.
How do you REALLY feel about Bo Horvat’s “better than Vancouver” comments?
You responded below!
He wasn’t asked about Vancouver but he gave it anyways. I always thought his responses to questions as the Canucks’ captain were guarded. Never said too much.
This response reeked of bitterness. Maybe he has a right to be bitter, but that’s how it came across.
One thing I do know…other than in the faceoff circle, he hasn’t been missed, so good luck to him and the Islanders.
I think Horvat felt a bit bitter on leaving Vancouver after thinking he would be a Canuck forever. I think he was lashing out a bit because he was hurt.
At the end of the day, he wanted too much money and priced himself out of the market. I really liked Horvat, but I’m glad Canucks did not overpay for him.
Bo is probably right. Rogers Arena in Vancouver is one of the quietest arenas, fan-wise, in the entire NHL. This is not speculation. Ergo, the constant harassment over the P.A. system to “make some noise.” Anyone who has ever attended a game in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Winnipeg, Montreal, Detroit, etc etc would have noticed the same thing.
52 years on….and on…
The Canucks chose to walk away from their captain in a very public way. They opted to “reward” Miller with a big deal, but not Bo, and to rub a bit of salt in the wound, it was then dragged out over many months. Of course he’s gonna be bitter! My only issue with what he said is that he walked it back. Clearly he meant it, so own it!
On one hand, I was hoping karma would have bit him, leading to the Isles barely missing the playoffs. On the other hand, I want them to go as far as they can to further de-value that 1st round pick we gave up for Hronek… so, I’m happy with either option. As long as fans boo him when he returns, even if just for sarcastic hilarity, I’m happy.
I thought Bo’s comment lacked intelligence. At the time they needed Pittsburgh or Florida to lose to make the playoffs. Pittsburgh was facing the two worst teams in the league, Chicago and Columbus. Two teams Pittsburgh should have easily handled. Bo got lucky and his comments didn’t bite him in the ass.
I didn’t take the comments to be a slight on the fans. I think his additional comments weren’t really a walk back, but a clarification. It seems like this was a shot at the organization and I believe it is completely justified. This ownership group along with the previous and current management regimes let the fans and players down. The players and coaches were left to answer for the mismanagement of this franchise and on too many occasions since the owner or the GM refused to do so. For example, the COVID outbreak that hit the team hard. JT Miller had to speak up for the team when the GM and owner did not stand up for them.
I would have chosen my words more carefully if I was Bo just to make it clear I wasn’t talking about the Vancouver fans, who have been amazingly supportive of the team despite its futility over the past decade. (If you don’t believe me, you should try attending an Islanders’ game when they are having a losing season and the building is half empty.) But I don’t blame him for welcoming a fresh start with a team that’s headed to the playoffs.
(Winner of the author’s weekly award for eloquence)
It’s too bad Horvat couldn’t recognize how he was able to inflate his stats in his role in Vancouver this year. His production on NYI is back to his career average (and had been even prior to the trade) and far from a $8.5M a year player. Rather than bitter, one would hope he sees how he massively benefited from what happened in Vancouver. This contract will not age well.
Still, damage done. I’m of the opinion that you see people’s true colors when adversity hits. His weak walk-back sealed his image in my eyes. I can tell you that for free.
Who cares what Horvat says? He has to appease the fanbase there quickly, as he signed a monster contract and soon they will be making OEL comparisons. It won’t be us heckling him, but his new fans. So he needs all the fans he can gain.
Well, obviously I feel incredibly triggered, but also somewhat guilty. Is he right? Should I have bought more Horvat jerseys and screamed more coaching advice from the stands? Did I not give enough likes and hearts to the pics of Ryp the Dog? Was my lack of Betway NHL Wagering affecting the cap so much that Bo had to be run out of town? No, no, this must all be FA’s fault.
I agree with Horvat. I didn’t take his comment as a direct shot at Vancouver fans. He was referring to the atmosphere of the playoff chase. I mean, that was the question asked of him, wasn’t it? The man didn’t get to experience any of that while he was captain here and by no fault of his own. Why make the comparison? It seems obvious to me that Vancouver is a special place for him and he probably misses home. If anything, fans should take his comments as a compliment.
Bo regularly got trashed by the media and fans for lack of leadership, etc., as the team fell apart, then got lowballed by management, so he had every right to say what he said. The whole thing is much ado about nothing.
Much Ado About Nothing.
A River Called Curt:
It was an absolutely fair comment by Horvat.
Compared to many other NHL arenas, Vancouver’s crowd is embarrassingly tame and docile. Loud, boisterous Canucks fans are told to zip it in VanCity. By contrast, opposing fans are welcomed with open arms in Vancouver and never subject to the sort of abuse that would be directed towards them, at most other rinks. (Wear a Rangers jersey in Philly? The beer thrown at your head during the anthem will be the least of your worries.)
The result is a lack of home ice advantage, opposing teams getting aggressive and refs getting away with terrible calls against the local team, whereas in any other NHL arena the zebras would justifiably be afraid of leaving the building alive.
And it’s understandable why the crowd in Vancouver is so mute. Atrocious management and a decade of losing basically has left the fans speechless. Practically all of the noisy and hardcore Canucks fans I know let their season tickets lapse over the last decade due to their frustration with Benning’s mismanagement.
I was a little surprised he made the comment, but was a lot less surprised he walked it back. I would’ve liked to see him stick to those words, especially with how he delivered them. With the power of hindsight I see Horvat as one of the most underwhelming captains of the Canucks in recent history so if he wants to make noise in Long Island he can, because he never really made any here.
Ultimately, I was looking forward to a little extra spice in the next matchup against the Islanders, but since he’s walked it back it’ll be a hollow storyline if it gets pushed too hard.
It was a dumb comment, no doubt. I don’t think born our of any malice.
I believe at some point in the future he’ll be honoured in Vancouver for his time as captain. I think the next time he comes back, though, he may be in for a rough ride over that comment.
Bo’s comment was snarky, gratuitous and revealing. It supports my long held theory that Bo didn’t really want to stay with the Canucks, mainly because he was sick of losing. I note Ryan Nugent-Hopkins signed in Edmonton for $5.125 m. per annum and Landeskog in Colorado for $7m. They were committed to their teams and cities. Bo went for the most money he could obtain, no matter where he had to go to get it. Fair enough — just spare us the sarcastic comments, please, Bo.
Bo wasn’t “wrong” with his comment but is definitely in the wrong by making the comment. During his tenure he saw fans throw jerseys on the ice, fan favourites (Markstrom, Tanev, Toffoli, Bruce!) all leave, poor management, poor play, and he didn’t get the deal he was expecting from his team. So we all understand that the place was a dumpster fire. But as a former captain and a former cornerstone of the local society, you simply do not make those jabs. It’s a classless thing to say. Even if it’s true, you just don’t say it. Really shines a different light on him. Unfortunate. Bos (4) – Nyi (0).
He was a former captain who has gone through many interviews so he knows better than most people what should or should not be said and the optics of it all. All he had to say was how fantastic the atmosphere was at UBS, the added comment about Vancouver was all on him purposely taking a shot, it appears, at fans who never said anything bad about him and loved him. If he wanted to take a shot at management or ownership, go for it, but to paint a picture with one brushstroke? Well, I thought Bo was better than that.
Sports is all about loving your team and hating the enemy. Sometimes with respect, sometimes with grudging respect for talent but still hatred for how they play the game — I’m looking your way Marchand. In any case, Bo planted himself firmly in the camp of the enemy.
I’m fine with that, he’s no longer a Canuck and I look forward to cheering for him to provide eight more years of 55 point-or-less hockey for the Islanders. Sour grapes from me? Who cares, that’s what makes it fun. Being a fan is all about irrational attachment to millionaire athletes anyway.
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