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Lightning Round: Tampa Bay is reportedly interested in Bo Horvat

And the future of Raw Charge is unclear

Vancouver Canucks v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images

With the trade deadline just a little over a month away, the trade talks between the NHL teams intensified. In recent years, the Tampa Bay Lightning were a big player on a trade market, known for their pointed approach, which allowed them to bring players, who would eventually play a significant role in their Stanley Cup runs. Initially, the Lightning weren’t expected to make a splash on the market due to having less leverage than in previous seasons, but Lightning general manager Julien BriseBois could always found a way to somehow surprise us. He might be onto something this year again, as Elliotte Friedman hinted during his latest 32 Thoughts Podcast, that the Lightning are possibly a wild card team in a race for one of the hottest targets of this season’s trade deadline — Bo Horvat.

Bo Horvat, the captain of the Vancouver Canucks, is having a career season in the last year of his expiring contract with the team. He currently has 49 (30+19) points in 45 games and is on pace for 90 points in 82 games. The situation in Vancouver isn’t very satisfying. The Canucks will almost definitely miss playoffs this season and very close to firing their head coach Bruce Boudreau. Jim Rutherford, the Canucks’ president of hockey operations, also indicated earlier this season that almost any player on their roster, besides Elias Pettersson, is available for the trade.

For the Lightning, however, a possible trade would be a big challenge. The cap space is just one of the issues. The Lightning currently have $719,967 of cap space and to bring Horvat, who carries a cap hit of $5,500,000, they would need to Vancouver to retain half of the Horvat’s salary or even an involvement of third team, who would also retain half of his salary — basically the same method, which was used when the Bolts acquired David Savard from the Columbus Blue Jackets couple of years ago. Another thing is that the Bolts don’t really have something to offer in exchange. They don’t have a first-round pick until 2025 and their highest prospect is Isaac Howard, who has an unimpressive season in NCAA with just seven points in 21 games. The Lightning could also offer Cal Foote, whose future in organization became less certain since Nick Perbix signed a two-year contract with the team, Vlad Namestnikov or veteran Alex Killorn, both of whom are becoming unrestricted free agents this summer. All of that doesn’t seem appealing as Vancouver would definitely ask for high draft picks or high-rated prospects in exchange.

The race for Horvat will be very tight in the next weeks. Amongst the teams, which already inquired about Horvat are the Boston Bruins, Seattle Kraken, Detroit Red Wings, Carolina Hurricanes and Minnesota Wild. The Carolina Hurricanes, which lost Max Pacioretty to another injury just last night, will be also pushing for Horvat.

As it was reported earlier, the Lightning is already interested in another Vancouver player, specifically Luke Schenn, who played for them in 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, winning two Stanley Cups during his stint with the Lightning.

Lightning Links

As you might already know, Vox Media, which owns SB Nation, laid off seven percent of its workers and demonetizing almost all of their hockey sites. Please read the statement from Justin, our managing editor, about the future status of our blog [Raw Charge]

As for the future of Raw Charge. We are contracted through the end of February and will continue to produce content through that time period. After that, it’s hard to say what will happen. As the managing editor I cannot, in good conscious, ask the other writers to work as hard as they do for no pay. The stipends we receive for this work are not great, in fact, they are hardly worth it when you consider the amount of work every one does, but it was something.

Will this site exist on March 1st, 2023? Yes. Will it continue to produce new content moving forward. That I don’t know yet. I will strive to keep you informed as things develop.

The Lightning are establishing a Hall of Fame for their organization and announced a list of finalists, who might join Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis as inductees during an Alumni Weekend on March 16th-19th [Raw Charge]

That same committee will vote for the two finalists. Fans will have the chance to be the 11th vote. Starting on Monday January 29th at 9:00 AM they can start voting via the new brand new Lightning app (downloadable through these links GOOGLE and APPLE). Voting will conclude on Sunday January 29th at 5:00 PM. One lucky fan that votes through the app will win two lower-level tickets to the Lightning game against the Canadiens on March 18th.

With an assist on Jaydon Dureau’s goal in yesterday game against the Utica Comets, Alex Barre-Boulet became the all-time leading scorer in Syracuse Crunch history with 242 points.

The Crunch won that game 2-0, extending their winning streak to five games. Max Lagace earned his first shutout of the season.

The Lightning also made some minor moves on Friday

Hockey News

Just two games played in the NHL last night.

Max Pacioretty tore his right Achilles just two weeks after recovering from the same injury and has been placed on injured reserve.

The Vancouver Canucks fans supported Bruce Boudreau during their game against the Colorado Avalanche, who is on the verge of losing his job.

Former Lightning player Mathieu Joseph played in first NHL game against his brother Pierre-Olivier Joseph last night. This was reaction of their parents, after brothers took a high-sticking penalty against each other.