It’s expected Bo Horvat will be named the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks before the season begins next week.
Ian MacIntyre confirmed this past week what most Canucks fans were already expecting. The Canucks reportedly didn’t want to rush naming a captain after the Sedin Twins retired at the end of last season. They wanted to give time to let it breathe and let things evolve on their own. It appears Horvat has definitely emerged as their choice.
MacIntyre told Sportsnet 650 that GM Jim Benning mentioned in Victoria last week that the Canucks are going to meet again and make a decision, and if they name a captain, Bo Horvat is their choice.
Earlier on #ReachDeep with @DanRiccio650 and @RandipJanda Sportsnet's @imacSportsnet tipped that Bo Horvat will be the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks. pic.twitter.com/U7vJy8NqQZ
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) September 24, 2019
Ex-Canucks defenseman Ed Jovanovski weighed in on a potential Horvat captaincy. He talked about the ideal captain not necessarily needing to be a 100-point guy or the best player on the team, but rather a hard-worker and good leader that guys can look up to both on-and-off the ice.
Jovanoski wore an ‘A’ throughout his time with Vancouver and was named captain of the Florida Panthers for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons. He had praise for Horvat on Sportsnet 650 when asked about him potentially being the next Canucks captain.
“He’s been around the league for a handful of years and he’s experienced it”, Jovanoski said. He’s a guy that for the most part is producing on a consistent level. I like his passion and what he brings to the game. He’s a guy that doesn’t take a shift off, works hard. That’s something you want to see in your captain.”
Jovanovski also made a comparison to current Panthers’ Captain Aleksander Barkov when talking about Horvat’s work-ethic.
“I see it here with Barkov. The guy’s like the best two-way player. I went to the game yesterday and listened to Joel Quenneville’s comments after the game. He just had much more of an appreciation for a guy that combines and does everything well. I think Horvat follows in that territory, and it’s good for guys to feed off that.”
Former #Canucks star Ed Jovanovski says Bo Horvat has all the qualities needed to be the team's next captain.
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) September 25, 2019
On another note, one of the other major storylines surrounding the Canucks is Brock Boeser and his status following a brutal hit from Chris Tierney while on the power play in the Abbotsford preseason game.
Boeser went through concussion protocol and was forced to miss the last two games of the preseason.
What are you doing, Chris Tierney? pic.twitter.com/Kjb6OJAnQt
— Daniel Wagner (@passittobulis) September 24, 2019
Both sides have weighed in on the incident, with Senators players expressing sympathy for Boeser.
Veteran defenseman Mark Borowiecki said he can relate to Boeser and spoke about the type of player Tierney is.
“Nobody is looking to finish checks on the penalty kill,” Borowiecki said Wednesday before the rematch at Rogers Arena. “You’re taught not to do that and if you think there was malicious intent there, in my mind that’s incorrect.”
“You don’t want to finish a check and take yourself out of the play — you want to stay loose. And he caught him in a bad spot and it sucks. I’ve been in the Boeser situation and you never want to see a guy go down with a head injury. We talked about it. He (Tierney) is not that kind of a player and I know he feels terrible about it — it’s just a bad situation all around.”
Tienry expressed remorse about the hit when talking to reporters afterwards.
“I tried to get over to him quickly and put pressure on the puck,” Tierney said. “I caught him in a funny spot and drove him in there and I obviously feel really bad about it. It was not my intention. I reached out and said I was sorry and apologized for the hit.”
Canucks coach Travis Green initially referred to the hit as a “hockey play”, but later changed his positioning.
“I will say I don’t like the hit at all — it was a dirty hit,” Green said. “It’s on a player that’s on the power play and not a hit that I like.”
After the hit, Boeser remained in the game until late in the third period when the trainers could tell he wasn’t feeling right.
Sven Baertschi, who has had five career concussions, talked about the process and why he feels that Boeser should have been pulled from the game right away.
“You come back to the bench and you sort of feel OK and it just feels like you got your bell rung a bit,” Baertschi recalled. “As the game goes on you notice that you’re not quite there and not sharp and the vision might be off.”
“That’s a sign that you should be pulled out of the game,” Baertschi added. The way that Brock got hit and going head-first against the boards, he should have been pulled right away.”
The positive news is Boeser was back skating for the Canucks on Saturday. He was wearing a non-contact jersey while skating with the main group.
Looks like Boeser skating with main group at #canucks practice, albeit in non contact jersey. pic.twitter.com/PJ5mKmkBpI
— Dan Murphy (@sportsnetmurph) September 28, 2019
Boeser reportedly spent about half an hour participating in drills and skating on the first power-play unit. It’s unclear if he’ll be in the lineup for Wednesday’s season-opener against Edmonton.
Boeser & Fantenberg both wearing a non-contact jersey, both on the ice as practice begins. pic.twitter.com/oD8PQIUy7K
— Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) September 28, 2019
On the topic of practice, the Canucks recently confirmed that their non-Rogers Arena practice facility this season will be Burnaby 8 Rinks.
Canucks schedule Tuesday: 11:20AM ice at Burnaby 8 Rinks
— Canucks PR (@CanucksPR) September 24, 2019
The team has recently used the University of B.C.’s Doug Mitchell Sports Centre as their non-Rogers practice facility, but made a return to 8 Rinks last season. They had used the Burnaby facility for over a decade beginning in 1995.
Burnaby 8 Rinks has larger dressing-room facilities and offices for coaches, while also being family friendly with an upper-level viewing area accessible and upstairs snack bar.
According to the report, the Canucks will still be practicing at UBC on occasion, but their “first choice” if they can’t use Rogers Arena will now be Burnaby 8 Rinks.