The Boston Bruins are a lock to make the playoffs; the rest of the season will focus on staying healthy and maintaining their top spot in the conference. If there were ever a time for general manager Don Sweeney to go all in and put all his chips in the pile, this would be the season. Boston is flying high and has been playing at an elite level in all areas of the ice.
In addition, Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci could ponder retirement (again) after this season, and going all in on a deep cup run would be wise. After considering all these factors, it is wise that Don Sweeney has been in talks with the Vancouver Canucks for Bo Horvat.
As the trade deadline approaches, Sweeney will be working the phones and could look to make upgrades to the lineup. There are not many glaring holes on this roster, but a team with high cup aspirations could see him go all in on a championship.
Why This Bo Horvat Move Makes Sense
As mentioned above, if there was any year to go all in, this is the year. Since the futures of the top two centers on the roster are uncertain, Horvat’s acquisition makes sense to secure the position’s future. Furthermore, Horvat is a proven top-six center and has proven that throughout his career. Additionally, he’s having a career season in 2022-23, winning over 50% of his faceoffs, which would make the Bruins lethal at the position.
In just 43 games played, he has 48 points and 30 goals, one shy from the career high he set last season. Since he’s having a career year, he’s looking to cash in, and rightfully so. However, there is just one problem; Horvat comes as a rental, which can pose a problem for general managers around the league.
What would Bo Horvat Cost the Bruins?
The current Canucks captain will be getting attention from plenty of teams across the league. Moreover, he has already received interest from the Carolina Hurricanes and Colorado Avalanche, to name a few. Right now, both teams have a dire need for a second-line center, yet given the career year that he is having, that price tag is going to be hefty.
Of all the teams interested, Boston has one of the worst prospect pools in all hockey. Sadly, the only big-name trade chip they have in minors is Fabian Lysell, who has done well with the Providence Bruins with 21 points in 24 games. If the Bruins are serious contenders for Horvat’s services, they would also need to get creative with the cap space, as he currently has a cap hit of $5.5 million.
Should Sweeney put all his chips in and add to a roster already in contention for the Stanley Cup this year, he may want insurance from Vancouver that an extension could be in place, similar to how the deal for Hampus Lindholm took place last season. However, remember that Bruins must extend Pastrnak and potentially bring back Bergeron and Krejci. Furthermore, Sweeney also has a pair of restricted free agents, Jeremy Swayman and Trent Frederic, to tender offers at the end of the season.
Overall this would not be a wrong move for the Bruins, but it makes more sense if he is extended beyond this season.