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What’s Happening with the Canucks’ Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson?

At the Vancouver Canucks enter the 2021-22 season, what’s happening with two key players – Bo Horvat and Elias Pettersson?

As the Vancouver Canucks prepare for training camp, two of the team’s key players are preparing for another season. One’s already has his ticket punched for the ride, the other does not. One is “in” with the team: the other is still on the outside looking in.

What’s the news about Bo Horvat (who’s in) and Elias Pettersson (who remains at this point out)?

Related: Former Canuck Jake Virtanen Finds a New Home in the KHL

Horvat’s Desires Entering His Eighth Year with the Canucks

As Horvat enters his eighth season with the team, there’s nothing he wants more than to help his Canucks get back into the playoffs. After a great 2019-20 playoff run, the Canucks didn’t even qualify for the playoffs last season. 

Horvat was reflecting on his time with the team and his desire for it not long ago and had this to say, “I’ve been on the team, this will be my eighth year coming up, which is crazy. And I want to be in the playoffs.”

Horvat spoke about what the 2021-22 season means to him personally when he said: “I don’t want to go through the motions in the regular season and be done in April. I want to be playing in the playoffs, it’s the best time to play, it’s when I find I take my game to the next level. And I think we have the team here to get there. We just have to go prove it now. Enough is enough, we can talk all we want, at the end of the day we have to go out there and prove it on the ice.” (from “Canucks captain Bo Horvat on offseason changes, vaccination and impatience: ‘I want to be in the playoffs’,” Thomas Drance, The Athletic, 26/08/21).

Bo Horvat, Canucks’ Captain

By the way, what a meltdown the team had last season – for all sorts of reasons – not the least of which were injuries. The Canucks had the North Division’s worst record in 2020-21, so perhaps a return to the Pacific Division for the 2021-22 will do them well. 

Is Elias Pettersson Might Watching Other Contracts Before He Signs?

In a short part of a longer post, Elliotte Friedman noted that he thought the Canucks have made progress with Elias Pettersson, but wondered if Petterssn might be waiting to see what the Minnesota Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov might get on his next contract.

The Canucks still have two really important restricted free agents (RFAs) to sign in Pettersson and Quinn Hughes and the team’s training camp is coming a bit closer every day. It isn’t as if the two sides haven’t been talking, because negotiations have been going on throughout the offseason. Still nothing for either of them.

Elias Pettersson Quinn Hughes Canucks
Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes: Offseason Priorities for the Vancouver Canucks

At first, there were some concerns from the Canucks’ organization that another team might offer sheet Pettersson, but so far that hasn’t happened. Early during the offseason, Pettersson had noted that he just wanted to play for a winning team.

Were a “winning team” to come along, they’d have to have the salary-cap space to sign him and that would be difficult in these days of COVID-19 salary-cap limitations. The only teams who seem to have loads of salary-cap space are teams who simply aren’t destined to win this season. Plus, the cost of signing Pettersson to an offer sheet would largely be prohibitive.

Related: Look Twice at Who’s in the Canucks’ Front Office: It’s the Sedin Twins

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