While the rest of the league was slowly getting back into the grind of the post-All-Star Break portion of the season, the New York Islanders wrapped up a little business as they signed newly acquired center Bo Horvat to an eight-year, $8.5 million AAV contract.
After shipping out Anthony Beauvillier, Aatu Raty, and a conditional first round pick for the 31-goal forward, general manager Lou Lamoriello made sure that they will keep the services of the 27-year-old forward for the foreseeable future. Along with the re-signing of Mathew Barzal earlier this season, it looks like they will have their top two centers through the end of the decade at least.
Did they overpay? Possibly. Is it a reasonable contract? Possibly. It’s not likely that he will continue to shoot at a 21.7% rate or score at a 50-goal pace, but even if he’s able to keep chipping in 25-30 goals for the next couple of years, he will provide the offense the Islanders desperately need.
While he won’t see too much Selke consideration, he’s at least playing close to a league-average level over the last few seasons, and his contributions on the power play more than off-set any defensive deficiencies.
This signing doesn’t really affect the Lightning too much as they weren’t likely to be bidding on Horvat’s services had he chosen the free agent market. Nor do they really have any pending RFA’s or UFA’s with a skillset similar to Horvat.
It’s a big commitment to a player that has had one practice with his new team, and one that Lamoriello likely signed begrudgingly.
#Isles GM Lou Lamoriello would not give specifics on Bo Horvat contract:— Stefen Rosner (@stefen_rosner) February 5, 2023
"It's too long and it's too much money."
Lightning / NHL News
Lightning/Panthers in different spots coming out of All-Star break [Tampa Bay Times]
After running away with the Atlantic Division last season, the Panthers are on the outside looking in as they start off the second half of their season against the Lightning on Tuesday.
5 burning questions about the Lightning coming out of the break [Tampa Bay Times]
It will be interesting to see if the Lightning can jump out of the gate after a long break. The three game homestand they had two weeks ago was some of the most consistent hockey they had played all season.
The Bolts were back on the ice in Sunrise and the lines were pretty familiar. It does look like they will at least start with Steven Stamkos on the top line with Brayden Point and Nikita Kucherov.
#Bolts practice lines and D-pairings:— Chris Krenn (@Chris_Krenn) February 5, 2023
Expect the Carolina Hurricanes to be active in the trade market. They officially moved Max Pacioretty to LTIR freeing up plenty of cap room to make a move.
#LetsGoCanes have moved Max Pacioretty from IR to LTIR.— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) February 5, 2023
This gives Carolina an additional $7,000,000 in their LTI Salalry pool, lifting them to $10,106,667 in usable space.
No thoughts, just Carter's giggle. pic.twitter.com/3PdDXC1ts9— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) February 5, 2023
Prospects to watch in the East [The Hockey News]
Which Lightning prospects could other teams be interested in as the deadline looms? THN lists Gage Goncalves and Dylan Duke as two possibilities.
TRAAAAAAAAAADDDE [The Mercury News]
The Seattle Kraken made a move to shore up their defense as they sent one of their two fourth-round picks to the San Jose Sharks for blueliner (and Florida native) Jaycob Megna
The Top 10 moments from All-Star Weekend [NHL.com]
One last post from the weekend. Personally, I’m not a fan of All-Star / Pro Bowl games. However, it looked like the players had fun and the those from Northern teams got to enjoy the Florida sunshine for a bit, so that’s nice.