Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat lines up for a faceoff against the Dallas Stars during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday March 30, 2019. Horvat is ready and willing to be the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Vancouver Canucks’ Bo Horvat lines up for a faceoff against the Dallas Stars during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday March 30, 2019. Horvat is ready and willing to be the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Captain Canuck? Horvat says he’s ready to sport the ‘C’ in Vancouver

NHL club left role vacant last season

CHICAGO — Bo Horvat is ready and willing to be the next captain of the Vancouver Canucks.

He’s just waiting for the tap on the shoulder.

The team left the role vacant last season following the retirement of Henrik Sedin and his twin brother Daniel, but Horvat said Thursday he’d be willing to take on the hefty responsibility in a razor-focused Canadian hockey market.

“It’d be an unbelievable honour to wear the ‘C’ — to wear any letter for that matter,” the 24-year-old centre said at the NHL/NHLPA North American Player Media Tour. “Even to be in consideration is definitely humbling. But it wouldn’t change who I am and it wouldn’t change the type of player I want to be.

“I wouldn’t let it affect me that way, but I’d just try to be the best leader I can be.”

Horvat certainly had some good teachers.

He sat a couple stalls away from the Sedins in Vancouver’s locker room from the time he made the league at age 19 until the Swedish superstars waved goodbye in April 2018.

There were lean years, but the superstar Swedes were always there to face reporters.

“Their last three years, it definitely wasn’t easy standing in front of the media and taking the heat, and talking every single day,” Horvat said. “Just watching it, you were like, ‘How did these guys do it?’ I kind of had that responsibility last year, so I got a little bit of practice.

“I’d be ready to make that next step.”

Vancouver is far from the only NHL team without a captain ­— the Toronto Maple Leafs, Vegas Golden Knights, Ottawa Senators and Detroit Red Wings are among the other seven without one — but Horvat said it’s important in the long run to have one voice.

“It is nice to have a guy to lean on and a guy to go to when times are tough and have somebody to set the tone,” he said. “But at the same time there’s no rush for our team or any team to name one right away. It’s obviously up to the (general manager) and the coaching staff to decide who they think is the best fit.

“We have a lot of great guys in our room.”

The Canucks have missed the playoffs the last four seasons, but made a number of off-season acquisitions in hopes of challenging for a spot in the Western Conference in 2019-20.

Vancouver dove into free agency by signing defencemen Tyler Myers and Jordie Benn, as well as winger Micheal Ferland, while forward J.T. Miller was acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“I really like our additions,” Horvat said. “I definitely think they’re going to help us make the next step.”

Another key would be getting restricted free agent Brock Boeser in town for training camp, but the star winger continues to negotiate a new contract with the team.

Horvat knows what the uncertainty can be like after waiting until Sept. 8, 2017, to sign a six-year, US$33-million extension with Vancouver coming out of his entry-level deal.

“I’ve been talking to (Boeser) a little bit, just asking how things are going,” Horvat said. “I’ve been through it. It’s not easy, especially this late in the summer.

“We’d love to have Brock for camp and love to have him to start the season, because he’s such a huge part of our team. Hopefully they can get a deal done.”

READ MORE: Canucks sign free agents Myers, Benn to bolster defence

READ MORE: Canucks to induct former standout Alex Burrows into ring of honour

One player Horvat and his teammates will be counting on from Day 1 is Elias Pettersson — the slick Swede that took the NHL by storm early last season on the way to capturing the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year.

“I don’t think he has a ceiling,” Horvat said. “He hasn’t completely filled out in his body yet … and he’s already doing what he’s doing right now.”

Horvat — who put up career-highs in goals (27), assists (34) and points (61) in a breakout season of his own — said it was hard to tell how good Pettersson was until he recorded a goal and an assist in his very first game, and didn’t look back.

“You’re just like, ‘Wow, this kid’s a player,”’ he said. “He continued to keep doing it game after game after game. It’s not easy. As a young guy, maybe you have a couple good nights here and there, but he just seemed to keep doing it night in and night out.

“He’s a special player. We’re lucky to have him. He’s just going to keep getting better as he gets older and gets more experience and bigger and stronger.

“So … look out.”

Joshua Clipperton, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Canucks

Just Posted

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich health and safety manager named one of Canada’s top 40 women in safety

Canadian Occupational Safety magazine celebrates women leading safety sector in 2021

Pacific sand dollars are a local species which belong to the same group as sea urchins. While alive, they are covered entirely by thousands of densely packed, short and slender spikes. (Photo courtesy of Louise Page)
The peculiar life of a Pacific sand dollar

UVic biology professor Louise Page offers a glace into sand dollars’ world under the water

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read