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Why Bo Horvat will not become a member of the Colorado Avalanche

The Canucks captain is linked with the Mile High City.

Vancouver Canucks v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

While the NHL Trade Deadline and frenzy coming along with it is months away, it’s never too early to start up the discussions. The name involved: Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat. Horvat and the Canucks cannot come to an agreement with contract negotiations and are listening to trade offers from across the league, as first reported by Rick Dhaliwal.

So, how does the Colorado Avalanche fit into this ordeal? Well, the Avs are injured to hell and back right now and are looking for anyone who can play the second line in the central role and can win faceoffs. But ...

Limited cap space is going to haunt Colorado in any chance of making this move. Per CapFriendly, the Avs only have $125K in cap space, with an additional $1.25M on LTIR used. However, with almost $7M left in the salary pool, it’s no wonder the Avs would take a look at Horvat’s current $5.5M deal.

The 27-year-old centerman has 20 goals and nine assists in 28 games this season, good for fourth best in the league for goals scored. Horvat is certainly ideal for the Avalanche in this scenario, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to hear later on whether Chris MacFarland was on the phone with those in British Columbia should a deal not be struck.

Furthermore, the key to Horvat’s situation is his contract status. He is a UFA at the end of the year, hence the contract negotiations with Vancouver. Therefore, should the Avs pursue Bo they would probably only be looking at him for a rental for the season.

Colorado needs to make moves to make it work financially. The two names which have been floated around to make it work are Samuel Girard and J.T. Compher.

Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Firstly: Girard is not going to be traded. No matter how much his name is said when it comes to trades, he will not be going anywhere with his age, contract, and current top-four status as an Avalanche defenseman. Enough with it.

Secondly: moving Compher to Vancouver for Horvat would have to come with more than just a one-for-one swap. The Canucks will be looking toward the draft to expand on their future, probably the current first-round pick the Avs have for the 2023 draft. In such a highly regarded upcoming draft, the pick is so valuable to the Avs who didn’t have a first-round pick last year, and whose last first-round pick was this guy.

2021 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Should Colorado not give up their first-round pick this year, perhaps Vancouver would look at the prospects in the pipeline. They’d likely want a splash who can make an impact quickly. Someone who has made an impact in his opening games for the Avs this season is Jean-Luc Foudy. Don’t be surprised if he ends up as a rumored name in a projected trade.

Outside of Foudy, they may look at Oskar Olausson's tenure in Colorado so far, along with perhaps a Martin Kaut or Sean Behrens. Thus, the depth the Avs have is already limited, and giving up a prospect or two alongside an NHL regular in Compher would not help their cause despite bringing in Horvat.

It all just seems too risky right now and too much to give up for a rental.

2022 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Photo by Damian Strohmeyer/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Theoretically speaking, if Horvat does make a move South of the border, his UFA status will be hard to handle. First off, Vancouver would have to retain some of his salary from his current deal. Second, if Compher is the name going the other way, he is a UFA himself. Compher's current deal is $3.5M and is one of 10 players who will be looking for a new contract as UFA’s, RFA’s, and expiring ELC’s that could re-sign with the Avs if he stays put.

Even if they do manage to trade for him, it would be an extreme challenge to get him to re-sign with Colorado. Supposedly, Vancouver’s last deal they offered him was upwards of $8M but he did not take it. Therefore, it could be safe to assume Horvat will be looking for a number north of $8M, something the Avs very likely couldn’t afford next summer.

It’s more likely the Avs would be smart with their money and increase their draft prospects this upcoming summer and build up current prospects in the pipeline. MacFarland will have known working under Joe Sakic as an AGM to not chase the big name, big money deals. Horvat falls under said description perfectly. Compher would be looking for something under $8M, and much cheaper than his supposed replacement in a trade.

While Horvat is a better player than Compher, is it really worth the extra bucks and draft picks/prospects? Is it going to be a deciding factor for the rest of this season as a rental alone? Even if he does come to Colorado, will it be for longer than just this season? Let us know in the comments below!


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