NY Islanders Lamoriello on Horvat extension: "It's too long, and it's too much money."
New York Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello is not one to talk specifics about contracts and money in public; that's just not the way he does things, even after signing Bo Horvat to an eight-year extension reportedly worth $8.5M AAV a season.
However, Lamoriello did comment broadly about the cost of doing business and described the Horvat extension. "It's too long, and it's too much money," quipped the Hall-of-Fame hockey executive.
Having been around the NHL for decades, he may feel that way about all deals and not just the one he had to make with the former Vancouver Canuck's captain after going all-in by acquiring him in a deal for Anthony Beauvillier, top prospect Aatu Raty, and a protected first-round pick.
The deal reported got done on Sunday morning when Horvat cam in early to "hammer things out" with the Islanders after spending the last week processing the move and attending the All-Star Game festivities in Sunrise, FL over the weekend.
Based on his comments, it appears that the perception around the Islanders has indeed changed after their recent success and moving into the new UBS Arena. Horvat stated that that Long Island was "in their top five of destinations even before the trade." It also didn't hurt that Lamoriello and the Islanders had almost no leverage after making the deal and needed to go up to $8.5M AAV for eight seasons to get the extension worked out before the team plays tomorrow night in Philadelphia.
Behind Mathew Barzal and his $9.15M salary that kicks in next season, Horvat will have the second highest AAV on the time sliding in behind Barzal and Islanders captain Anders Lee, who signed a seven-year contract extension worth $7M AAV after the 2018-19 season.
Horvat becomes the latest player acquired by Lamoriello since becoming Islanders President of Hockey Operations and GM to re-sign or extend a contact. Notably, like Horvat, JG Pageau did the same before ever playing a game with the franchise when he was acquired in 2020 ahead of the trade deadline. While free-agent success continues to allude the Islanders, their ability to keep and extend players once they are part of the organization continues to be a trend.