Canucks captain Bo Horvat issues statement as trade talk swirls

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat says he's focused on playing hockey as talk picks up about his future with the team.

Veteran forward says he won't comment further about future despite rumours

Vancouver Canucks captain Bo Horvat looks on wearing the Canucks' home jersey.
With trade rumours swirling, Canucks captain Bo Horvat says he will no longer comment on his future with the NHL club. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

Bo Horvat doesn't want to talk about his future with the Vancouver Canucks.

Still, after recent reports about his contract status, the Canucks' captain found himself surrounded by microphones after practice Tuesday.

The 27-year-old centre is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, and several outlets have reported he and his agents recently turned down the Canucks' latest offer for a new deal.

"I've always wanted to keep this kind of thing confidential," Horvat told reporters. "And right from the beginning of this season, I just wanted to focus on hockey and focus on the team and winning games and trying to lead this team by example and not let this be a distraction."

Vancouver is reportedly listening to trade offers for their first-line centre.

The news has taken a toll, Horvat said.

He, his parents and his wife have all been bombarded by text messages, and the news has filtered into Vancouver's dressing room, too.

"I feel bad for my teammates, having to hear all about this in the media," he said. "And I don't want it to be a distraction, so I apologize to them."

On track for career season

Horvat is in the final year of a six-year deal with an average annual value of $5.5 million US, and is likely in line for a significant raise.

The Canucks (12-13-3) have struggled this year, but Horvat appears poised for a career-best season with 20 goals and nine assists in 28 games.

He had the fourth most goals in the league heading into Tuesday night's action, behind Edmonton's Connor McDavid (25), Jason Robertson of Dallas (23) and Buffalo's Tage Thompson (21).

"I've tried to put [contract talks] in the back of my mind and just go and play, and try to lead this team to the playoffs and do whatever I can to help the team win," said Horvat, who was named the 14th captain in Canucks' history in October 2019.

"I try not to let it be a distraction and so far it's been good."

Originally picked ninth overall by the Canucks in 2013, the six-foot, 215-pound native of London, Ont., has amassed 190 goals and 395 points over 600 regular-season games with Vancouver.

"I want to be a Vancouver Canuck. I'm a Vancouver Canuck right now until they say otherwise," Horvat said. "For me, I have nothing but respect for this organization. I've been very loyal to this organization and I'm going to continue to be so."

Horvat released a statement via the team Tuesday saying he won't have any further comments about his future this year.

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