The Vancouver Canucks rested in Calgary on Tuesday night ahead of their NHL Pacific Division game on Wednesday evening against the Flames.
For Canucks captain Bo Horvat it was the end of a long day of tamping down distractions. Being a contract year for the 27-year-old with no deal in sight has meant increased speculation regarding his future with the club. The day started with him releasing a statement, followed by actual comments to the media after practice.
“When the season started I just wanted to focus on hockey and focus on the team and winning games and trying to lead by example and not let this be a distraction,” Horvat said. “That’s why I kind of released the statement where, I just want people to respect my privacy and my choice to keep this confidential and private.
“I feel bad for my teammates having to hear all about this in the media, and I don’t want this to be a distraction, so I apologize to them, and for me it’s just focusing on winning hockey games here.”
Horvat has done his part in that cause. He leads the team and is tied for 5th in the NHL with 20 goals. He’s added nine assists and has won almost 58% of his face-offs.
The London, Ontario native has played exactly 600 NHL regular season games, all of them with the Vancouver Canucks, the team that drafted him in the 1st-round, 9th-overall in 2013.
With the Canucks management facing a salary cap crunch, Horvat trade speculation naturally follows, particularly with the team this summer signing forwards J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser to seven and three year deals respectively.
The deals actually don’t preclude the Canucks from trading either or both of those players at some point. Trade speculation has also arisen periodically regarding defencemen Tyler Myers and Oliver Ekman-Larsson and forward Conor Garland, among others.