Can NY Islanders sign Bo Horvat for less than 8-years?
NY Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello is on the record stating that he doesn't trade for rental players. He's proven that in the past when acquiring Andy Greene, J.G. Pageau, and Kyle Palmieri, all of who remained on Long Island well after they were acquired. Many expected that when Lamoriello acquired Horvat that he'd sign an extension right away à la Pageau, but to this point that hasn't happened yet. Regardless, it feels unlikely Lamoriello made this trade without having some idea that a deal is likely to get done, or for all we know they're closing in on a deal already. After the Islanders traded for Horvat, they also became the only team in the NHL that could offer him a max eight-year contract. It begs the question, can the Islanders and Horvat land on something under eight years?
The Fourth Period's Irfaan Gaffar reported last month that the Vancouver Canucks made one last attempt at re-signing Horvat offering him a seven-year, $52.5 million ($7.5 million AAV) contract that Horvat turned down. Both Gaffar and David Pagnotta have reported that Horvat is looking "well over $8 million per season on an extension, and there is a belief Lamoriello and the Islanders are aware of the range it would take to get Horvat locked up to a contract extension."
It's not difficult to see Lamoriello already knowing what Horvat is looking for otherwise as we said earlier, he likely doesn't make this trade. Yet, it's also perfectly fair to say that Lamoriello isn't going to pay the newest Islander more than Mathew Barzal's $9.15 million AAV that starts next season.
So Horvat maybe doesn't get "well over $8 million per season on an extension," but the 27-year-old center and the Islanders could settle on an $8.5 million AAV over a seven year deal. That's more than the $52.5 million the Canucks offered him, and the $59.5 million is more than what the Canucks signed J.T. Miller for when his eight-year, $56 million deal kicks in next season. A seven-year deal would make Horvat the only Islanders forward not named Barzal that would be signed past the 2026-27 season, and it seems reasonable to have the Islanders two best players locked up for the foreseeable future.