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Canucks Management: Optimistic on Horvat, Not So Much on Miller

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Vancouver Canucks, Management
Vancouver Canucks Assistant General Manager Emilie Catonguay and General Manager Patrik Allvin on Wednesday.

Vancouver Canucks Assistant General Manager Emilie Castonguay, a key figure in the re-signing of forward Brock Boeser to a new three-year contract last week, and Canucks General Manager Patrik Allvin, spoke independently Wednesday about the Boeser process and the potential in getting a deal done with Canucks captain Bo Horvat.

Neither had a whole lot to say about negotiations with leading scorer JT Miller. Both Horvat and Miller have one year remaining on their contracts.

For Allvin last Friday he implied there was no rush in the Miller contract negotiations. Today there was a bit more ‘GM-speak’, as in, not much progress.

“Not really,” Allvin said. “We had good conversation with his agent. I guess anything can happen and we’ll wait and see here.”

He then provided the obvious answer and a good chuckle to a question about whether or not a deal could get done before the draft.

“With 24 hours to the draft, not super optimistic about that,” he said.

Miller turns 30 next March and will likely be looking in the neighbourhood of $9-million per season for a longer term deal. Thus the ongoing trade rumours.

Both managers were more optimistic about Horvat.

“Bo is our captain, he’s a huge part of our club,” Castonguay stated. “He’s our leader. Obviously he has a year left and we have a good relationship with his camp and him. Patrik is very involved, as is Jim.”

Horvat will make $5.5-million next season and would likely be looking for a raise in the neighbourhood of a million to a million-and-a-half more per season. Term will be a key issue as Horvat will turn 28-years-of-age next April and it’s debatable if the club would want to give him the maximum eight-year deal.

Horvat improved his play as last season moved along following the head coaching change in December. A broken ankle ended his season prematurely during the stretch drive. He was a key producer during the Canucks 2nd-half surge.

“With our captain there, Bo has done a lot for this organization and we’ve had a really good conversation with him and his agent,” Allvin said, “so we’ll see over the next couple of days where we go with that.”

Meanwhile, all parties involved reiterated their contentment with the Brock Boeser resolution with the three-year deal last Friday.

“Brock wanted to be in Vancouver,” Castonguay said. “We believe in the player. We wanted to get something done. Both sides made a good compromise and we’re happy the way it ended up.”

Boeser’s agent Ben Hankinson echoed the sentiment.

“Brock is excited to have three more years in Vancouver,” the Minnesota-based player representative said. “He is excited to have the contract behind him, but very motivated since there is still a lot of work ahead to get this team to the next level. He will be ready.”

The excitement level from the Vancouver Canucks management group is palpable. We’ll see if they can keep the momentum going Thursday night in Montreal.

VHN Managing Editor Rob Simpson has been covering the NHL for three decades on live TV, radio, and as a journalist. He worked his first ever game getting postgame sound as a teenager; it was Vancouver vs. Detroit.

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