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Horvat really wants to stick with Canucks, says contract won’t become distraction

VANCOUVERBo Horvat said he isn’t concerned about going into the ultimate year of his contract with the Vancouver Canucks, or the distractions it could potentially create.

The 27-year-old forward is entering the ultimate season of a six-year, $33 million contract ($5.5 million average annual value) he signed four days before training camp in 2017. He is able to become an unrestricted free agent following this season.

“I cannot let that that sort of stuff bother me,” Horvat said Monday. “I cannot will have it hanging over my head. For me personally, I must put my head down and become the very best leader I could. I’m a Vancouver Canuck at this time and I’ll be considered a Vancouver Canuck because of this full year and I’ll make an effort to do whatever I could help this team win and that is my main focus at this time.”

Horvat scored an NHL career-high 31 goals and was tied for fourth in Canucks scoring with 52 points in 70 games last season. Selected ninth by Vancouver in the 2013 NHL Draft, Horvat has 366 points (170 goals, 196 assists) in 572 games in eight seasons with the Canucks. The London, Ontario native has been captain for days gone by three seasons.

“Obviously my career started here, and we love the town, we love individuals, we love fans and the business, so you will have that in the rear of your mind you are going to be considered a Canuck forever,” Horvat said. “I’d like that to occur, and we’ll see what goes on here but these exact things do devote some time and hopefully we are able to take action soon.”

Vancouver signed J.T. Miller, who like Horvat was entering the ultimate season of his contract, to a seven-year, $56 million contract ($8 million average annual value) on Sept. 2.

Miller indicated his side considered cutting off negotiations if they’d been struggling to reach an agreement before training camp, which starts Sept. 23, but Horvat isn’t likely to achieve this.

“I simply want to become a great leader, a man that will show up each day and work hard and lead by example and do whatever I could help his team win at this time because at this time I play for the Vancouver Canucks and that is the way I’d like it to be,” Horvat said.

Miller, who led the Canucks with 99 points (32 goals, 67 assists) last season, said that it meant too much to steer clear of the distraction of starting the growing season with out a new contract, but general manager Patrik Allvin didn’t seem worried about Horvat potentially coping with exactly the same contract questions.

“That is the reality, I assume,” Allvin said Sept. 6. “You’ve kept per year left of one’s contract and for players, they obviously consider the salary cap and where in fact the teams are and I believe they’re being professional but at exactly the same hand, I believe they would like to have security aswell.”

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