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Allvin on Horvat deal; whether Canucks are done moving big pieces

Bo Horvat Vancouver Canucks Bo Horvat - Getty Images

While the NHL trade deadline is still more than a month away, the Vancouver Canucks decided not to wait to make a big splash, sending captain Bo Horvat to the New York Islanders on Monday in exchange for forward Anthony Beauvillier, prospect Aatu Raty and a 2023 conditional first-round draft pick.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin explained Tuesday that the team was originally looking to keep Horvat but are happy with the trade return. 

“Original thought was to keep Bo Horvat here,” he said Tuesday on the Got Yer Back podcast with TSN Hockey Insider Pierre LeBrun and TSN Edmonton reporter Ryan Rishaug. “That was our plan, and again, respect Bo Horvat that he put himself in the position to be a UFA, and with that, dictating where he wants to play and how much money he wants to make.

“At this point, we felt that the process was moving along, and we felt that the way we handled it regarding if [they were] involved or not, we’re really happy with this deal we made yesterday.”

Allvin also addressed whether more major moves could be on the horizon and if one of the young members of his core - forward Elias Pettersson, defenceman Quinn Hughes and goaltender Thatcher Demko - are on the trade market. 

“It’s hard to say,” he said. “Again, we’re sitting in the bottom of the league here, so obviously we haven’t been good enough. 

“I think a major change here was when we brought in Rick Tocchet and his group here. I’ve been missing a little bit of identity with our team. I think we’ve been very inconsistent and hard to tell game in and game out what we are.

“In terms of those players you mentioned [Pettersson, Hughes, Demko], I mean, they are high elite players in the league. For us, you need something significant in return to even consider moving one of those pieces. They’re still young, a perfect age, and I believe they have a great future in the National Hockey League.”

A pending unrestricted free agent, Horvat is in the last season of a six-year, $33 million contract. With the Canucks tight against the salary cap and negotiations failing to result in an extension, rumours of Horvat’s departure swirled as the season wore on. 

The Horvat trade comes just over a week after the Canucks made a coaching change, firing Bruce Boudreau and replacing him with Rick Tocchet as the head coach. The Canucks went 16-25-3 in 46 games under Boudreau this season. Vancouver has missed the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons and currently sit 27th in the standings.