Bo Horvat reportedly ‘open’ to extension with Islanders
The New York Islanders made perhaps the biggest and most confusing splash of trade season yesterday, acquiring star sniper Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks.
Critics of the trade question the Islanders’ gamble on a pending unrestricted free agent, notably with the team out of the playoff picture at the All-Star break. A contract extension between the two parties would ensure that New York’s concessions in the trade weren’t for naught.
The day after the trade, though, Pierre LeBrun reported on Tuesday’s edition of TSN’s Insider Trading that Horvat is “open” to contract extension talks with the Islanders. While not a certainty, it seems like the door is open for a long-term union between the two parties, even if New York can’t claw back into the playoff picture this season.
“[The contract talks] will commence in short order, is what I’m being told,” LeBrun said. He also noted that the Islanders would’ve been on Horvat’s list of teams to speak to had he gone to market on July 1, which is something to keep in mind as talks progress.
Only Oliver Wahlstrom is on the Islanders’ list of notable restricted free agents to lock up next offseason. His value is limited, considering his offensive inconsistency and the likelihood that he’s out of the lineup for the remainder of 2022-23 with an injury. He played just 35 games.
With that being said, the Islanders have slightly north of $16M in cap space to play with for 2023-24, per CapFriendly. Semyon Varlamov and Scott Mayfield are also pending UFAs whose roles on the roster need to be replaced, but could likely be done for cheaper than their current combined cap hits of $6.45M.
If the two sides can agree on an extension, the Islanders have the space to give Horvat a deal with a cap hit north of $8M, the likely benchmark for his caliber of talent. The merits of such a contract, considering his sky-high 21.7 shooting percentage this season signals some regression ahead, can be debated.