Horvat isn’t thinking about his next contract with the Canucks

VANCOUVER- Bo Horvat doesn’t mind the fact that he’s entering his last year of contract with the Vancouver Canucks or the distractions surrounding the situation.

Horvat, who will play the final season of a six-year, $33 million contract (average annual $5.5 million) he signed four days before training camp in 2017, could become free as the air next summer.

« I can’t let that sort of thing bother me, » Horvat said. It can’t constantly hover over my head. Personally, I have to focus and be the best leader I can be. I’m a Vancouver Canuck right now and I’m going to be a Vancouver Canuck all year. And I’m going to do everything I can to help this team win. »

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The 27-year-old forward set a career high with 31 goals last season and finished fourth on the Canucks with 52 points in 70 games. Selected ninth overall by Vancouver in the 2013 draft, Horvat spent the first eight years of his career with the British Columbia team, registering 366 points (170 goals, 196 assists) in 572 games. The Ontario native has been the team’s captain for three seasons.

“My career started here and my wife and I love the city. We love the people, we love the fans and the organization, so it’s always on my mind that I’ll be a Canucks member forever,” Horvat said. I want that to happen, we’ll see what happens. But these things take time, hopefully we can sort it out in the near future. »

On September 2, Vancouver granted a seven-year, $56 million (annual average of $8 million) contract extension to forward JT Miller, who, like Horvat, was entering his final year of contract.

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Miller said his clan was considering suspending negotiations if the two sides were unable to reach an agreement before the start of training camp, which begins Sept. 23. This option is not in the captain’s plans.

« I just want to be a good leader, a guy who shows up every day, works hard, leads by example and does whatever he can to help this team win, » Horvat said. Because right now I’m playing for the Vancouver Canucks and that’s how I want it to continue. »

The Canucks’ leading scorer last season with 99 points (32 goals, 67 assists), Miller said it meant a lot to him to be able to start the campaign avoiding distractions related to a possible contract extension. General manager Patrik Allvin, however, seemed unconcerned about Horvat.

« I guess that’s part of the reality, » Allvin said Sept. 6. You still have a year left on your contract and the players are paying attention to the salary cap and the situation of the teams. I think they act professionally, but at the same time they also want to have security. »

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