It's been two days since the NY Islanders acquired center Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks. Obviously, there are still a lot of questions about the future, both immediate and distant regarding the Isles latest acquisition, especially because it's the All-Star break and there aren't any games for another six days. Many are wondering where Horvat fits in the linuep, who shifts to the wing, and what will an extension look like. Well, according to Elliotte Friedman on the latest Jeff Marek Show, the Sportsnet insider gives his opinion on one of those questions, answering whether or not Horvat will be with the Islanders past this season or not.
Friedman states: “I think Horvat is going to get signed. I was going through it today. I think the Islanders have five other forwards who are represented by Newport which is the agency that represents Horvat. There are a lot of familiarities there. And, if you remember, (J.G.) Pageau, when they traded for him a couple of years ago, they got an extension done on the same day. I think there was permission there at the time. There’s just a lot of familiarity between the Islanders and Newport. I find it hard to believe that we’re not gonna see an extension there.”
That's good news for the Islanders. They gave up a significant haul in order for Jim Rutherford, Patrick Allvin, and the Canucks to agree to trade away their captain, and if they did all of that for nothing, it'd be a pretty detrimental trade. The belief already was that Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello doesn't pull the trigger on a deal of this magnitude without at least having some sense that he can retain the 27-year-old center. And if that wasn't enough, the Islanders have been incredibly successful at extending players in the past who they have acquired as Long Island has a reputation as a great place to live.
There is the matter of what Horvat will command. The Islanders are looking at $16.275 million in cap space over the summer with Horvat, Oliver Wahlstrom, Semyon Varlamov, and Scott Mayfield all coming off the books. Lamoriello will need to figure out who is and isn't part of the future with that group, especially because Friedman believes Horvat can command almost half of what the Islanders projected cap space is going to be.
“I think it’s gonna be around 8x8," Friedman stated. "I don’t know that, but that’s my guess. It comes in around at 8x8 or so.”
The good news is the Islanders can afford to give Horvat what he wants and there's little doubt he'll be the first priority of the expiring contracts. As for the rest, time will tell, but there is a scenario in which you can see the remaining free agents returning on team-friendly deals.