The Bo Horvat era in Vancouver is over.
The Canucks have traded him to the New York Islanders in exchange for forward Anthony Beauvillier, prospect Aatu Raty and a 2023 protected first-round pick. The pick reportedly is protected for the first 12 picks this year, and would slide to an unprotected first next year.
Horvat’s having a career year scoring 31 goals and 54 points in 49 games this year. Beauvillier, meanwhile, is struggling to find his way. A first-round pick in the 2015 draft, he’s appeared in 49 games this year scoring nine goals and 20 points.
Raty, meanwhile, was drafted in the second round of the 2021 but is struggling to find his way, too. He’s split time between the AHL and NHL this season scoring two goals in 12 NHL games and seven goals and 15 points in 27 games in the AHL.
Oilers and trades
The Edmonton Oilers are reportedly showing interest in not only Nick Bjugstad from the Arizona Coyotes, but also left-shot defenceman Shayne Gostisbehere.
This, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, who made the comments on Monday’s edition of the 32 Thoughts podcast.
“I think the Oilers like Bjugstad and after I said that on Saturday night, someone called me on Sunday and they said it’s more than interest. They think there’s been some pretty detailed conversations between the two teams. As I talked about on Saturday night, if you break down Bjugstad’s performance this year, he’s got 11 goals — 10 are even-strength, one is shorthanded. He’s at a $900k number anyone can handle.
As a matter of fact, the same person said to me they wouldn’t be surprised if not only is Bjugstad on the Oilers radar, but so is one of his teammates, the currently injured Shayne Gostisbehere. I don’t know where this is going to go because like I said I think there’s other interest in him, I don’t think Arizona is going to have any trouble moving him if that’s what they decide to do, but I do think Edmonton’s one of the teams there and I think they’ve talked reasnoably seriously about it.
Gostisbehere is currently injured, as I wrote about in an NHL Notebook last week, but he should be returning from injury ahead of the deadline.
It’s sort of ironic that the Oilers are showing interest in Gostisbehere. We all know the Chychrun hype that has surrounded this team, but he’s significantly better defensively than Gostisbehere.
Gostisbehere is having another solid season. He’s appeared in 48 games this season scoring nine goals and 29 points with his 0.6 PPG this year sitting at his career average. His strength as a player has always been his offensive upside and puck moving ability.
This season, he’s contributed even-strength offence at a two percent rate above league average and defence at a four percent rate below league average. His finishing ability is five percent above league average and his setting ability is eight percent above league.
Gostisbehere is a pending UFA carrying a $4.5-million cap hit with no trade clauses. Here’s some of what Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli wrote about him in his profile:
It’s no secret that Gostisbehere is not a top-flight defender. Like Erik Karlsson, Gostisbehere is a permissive defender, especially through the neutral zone. He routinely backs off and allows opponents space to generate speed and options. Once in the defensive zone, teams notice ‘Ghost’ can be late to react to pressure, which allows opponents additional time and space to attack. He is also not the most physical or the strongest defenseman, so if he can’t gain position with his feet, he often loses battles and ultimately possession.
The other complicating factor for Gostisbehere is his contract. He can certainly be effective when deployed in an offensive role, with mostly offensive zone draws and power play time. See: Kevin Shattenkirk signed by Tampa Bay prior to the 2019-20 season.
But given his $4.5 million salary cap hit, his contract will likely need to be filtered through a third-party broker, which will raise the acquisition cost. The good news is Gostisbehere would then only be on the books for $1.125 million. The bad news: Teams will ask themselves whether a sheltered defenseman will be worth the additional pick or asset to make it work.
Hull dies at 84
Former NHL superstar Bobby Hull has died at the age of 84, the NHL Alumni Association confirmed Monday. Hockey’s first million-dollar player, Hull scored 1,808 points between the NHL and WHA as one of the most prolific players in NHL history.
Here’s some of what Daily Faceoff’s Steven Ellis wrote about Hull:
When Hull retired in 1980, he finished as the second-leading goal scorer and ninth-leading point scorer in NHL history before falling to 17th and 50th, respectively. His son, fellow Hall of Famer Brett, surpassed him to sit fifth and 25th, respectively.
Hull, along with Gordie Howe, is considered to be the biggest star to have an impact in both the NHL and the rival WHA. While at the top of the NHL in 1972, Hull joined the upstart Winnipeg Jets of the WHA and signed what was seen as the biggest contract in hockey at the time with a $1.75 million deal over 10 years. Hull finished with 303 goals in 411 WHA games while still in his prime before finishing one last year in the NHL in 1979-80.
Hull went on to be named to the Hockey Hall of fame in 1983, the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and was listed as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players’ in History list put out by the league in 2017.
While his on-ice talent put him in the spotlight, his post-career days were rife with controversy. In 1987 he was convicted of assaulting a police officer who was trying to arrest him during an altercation with his third wife Deborah. In 2002, Hull’s second wife Joanne alleged in an ESPN documentary interview that Hull beat her with a steel-healed shoe and held her off a balcony while she was “covered in blood’ and fearing for her life during a 1966 trip to Hawaii. Hull was never charged.
Hull was also quoted in 1998 by a Russian media outlet as saying that Adolf Hitler “had some good ideas,” though he denied ever saying such things in a statement issued through the Los Angeles Times.
Hull eventually returned to the Blackhawks in an ambassador role in 2010, appearing at games and other major events. He was removed from the role last season with the Blackhawks claiming they were “redefining the role of team ambassador.” His statue remains outside the United Center alongside former teammate Stan Mikita’s.
Stephenson off to the ASG
Vegas Golden Knights forward Chandler Stephenson has been named to the NHL All-Star Game. He’s heading to South Florida to replace Seattle Kraken forward Matty Beniers, who was injured last week against the Vancouver Canucks.
Stephenson has had a strong season with the Golden Knights appearing in 51 games while scoring 11 goals and 44 points. He’s the second Vegas player to head to the game joining goaltender Logan Thompson.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.