The Detroit Red Wings are said to be a team that has some interest in a Bo Horvat trade. While he makes zero sense as a rental, he could be a player the Red Wings look at if things with Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi go sideways, which some early reports hint that they might.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period reports that talks between Larkin and the Red Wings are not going well. He says that the latest offer presented to him by the team was not well received while it’s not being suggested a trade is being considered yet, the two sides might be headed in that direction. There’s still time to get something done, but if the money — which is said to be the big hurdle here — is not close, GM Steve Yzerman might have to look at dealing the center ahead of the deadline.
Like they are with Larkin, the Red Wings have begun conversations about a new contract with Tyler Bertuzzi. The talks are said to be preliminary and reports are they will really try to hammer something out after the All-Star break. The Red Wings are prepared to move Bertuzzi if a deal isn’t finalized, but the forward is open to staying. He might not be as tricky a contract to negotiate, but that doesn’t mean anything is imminent yet.
This all leads to chatter about Bo Horvat. Having signed Andrew Copp, Ben Chiarot, Ville Husso, David Perron, and Dominik Kubalik, the Red Wings are no longer a rebuilding team. It’s time they start making moves to improve their roster and compete and they believe Horvat could be a key to their offense if signed to a reasonable long-term deal. If Copp plays in the right position on the roster and Horvat comes in as the No. 1 center, if Detroit has Larkin and Horvat, they become dangerous. If Larkin leaves, Horvat becomes a critical component to their potential success.
What Will the Red Wings’ Gameplan Be?
The question becomes, do the Red Wings try and make a deal for the player now? Or, do they wait for things to calm down and go after Horvat in the summer? The Vancouver Canucks have not granted any team an opportunity to talk with Horvat about an extension prior to making a deal. That works in Detroit’s favor, should they choose to wait this out.
At the same time, trading for him now and getting him on the roster gives the team a chance to offer a max 8-year deal. That not only locks Horvat in longer and gives them an edge in free agency, but it offers the chance to bring down his annual average salary and give the team a bit more cap room to play with and add pieces around him.
The Red Wings will certainly have money to work with if both Larkin and Bertuzzi are moved.
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