In the hours following the New York Islanders’ acquisition of star center Bo Horvat from the Vancouver Canucks, the two parties admitted that there had yet to have been any talks about a potential contract extension.
The 27-year-old center in the midst of a career year is in the final season of his contract before hitting free agency — and the Islanders gave up a hefty fee of Anthony Beauvillier, top prospect Aatu Raty, and a top-12 protected first-round pick at the 2023 NHL Draft.
“You have to give something to get something,” Islanders GM Lou Lamoriello said. “I think with the depth that we have down the middle that this is something that we feel improved our hockey team. Today and tomorrow, we’re dealing with a 27-year-old player that is in his prime.”
Key in on that word, “tomorrow.” Lamoriello certainly seemed sure that he’ll be able to strike a deal with Horvat’s camp to keep him on Long Island for the foreseeable future.
“I feel confident that whenever you make a transaction like this, you make it for a player that you feel has character and knows what a team gives up, and certainly feels comfortable in the organization he’s in,” Lamoriello said. “I think all of that, he’ll recognize quickly and, hopefully, we’ll get that done.”
He added that “it’s important” to begin extension discussions “as soon as possible.” That ensures the maximum amount of exclusive negotiation time between now and the start of the NHL’s free agency period on July 1.
Lamoriello certainly has the track record to exude such confidence. The four major players he’s acquired in trades while with the Islanders — Jean-Gabriel Pageau, Kyle Palmieri, Andy Greene, and Alexander Romanov — all signed extensions to stay with the Islanders.
“We’ll see if we can get something done,” Horvat said. “But I’ll leave that to [agent Pat Morris] and everybody to handle that.”
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