According to Nick Kypreos of The Toronto Star, fans should keep an eye on the Detroit Red Wings and what happens with Dylan Larkin, a pending UFA who has not signed his extension yet. Kypreos notes that trade rumors surrounding Bo Horvat could lead to him winding up with the Red Wings, especially if Larkin’s long-term extension doesn’t pan out in Detroit.
Kypreos double-down on a number of reports that Larkin might be seeking a deal as high as Mathew Barzal’s deal with the New York Islanders and instead of spending as much as $9.5 million on a seven or eight-year deal with Larkin, Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman could instead “choose to spend a good portion of that on Horvat.”
Kypreos writes that there are serious questions in Vancouver, especially after the team signed an older free agent in J.T. Miller after shopping him all off-season. Kypreos writes that they suddenly made him a priority over captain Bo Horvat, who is two years younger and staring at unrestricted free agency. He writes, “The consistent message I’ve heard is that it had to do with Horvat rejecting a low-ball offer that wasn’t even close to what other comparable centers earn …”
Horvat is currently making $5.5 million in the final season of the six-year deal he signed in 2017. One has to wonder if Yzerman believes he’ll better bang for his buck with a player like Horvat. He’s not going to come in at as high a price tag as Larkin, but will he produce at the same level? Horvat already has six goals on the season and eight points in nine games.
Both Larkin and Horvat are centers, Larkin being the younger of the two by one year. He has played 51 regular-season NHL games, scored 151 goals and 217 assists for 368 points. Meanwhile, Horvat has played 581 regular-season games, scored 176 goals, and 198 assists for 374 points.
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