The Vancouver Canucks need to make big changes, and with each passing day it seems more and more likely those changes will begin with a Bo Horvat trade before the March 3 trade deadline.

That became even more apparent this week when the Canucks made the decision to re-sign pending unrestricted free agent Andrei Kuzmenko to a new two-year contract extension that carries a $5 million per year salary cap hit.

That contract, combined with the Canucks' need to re-tool a flawed roster that is already pressed to the upper limits of the league's salary cap, makes it increasingly unlikely that Horvat will be re-signed. That means a trade could be on the horizon.

Horvat should be the top rental player available in advance of the deadline, and there will be no shortage of potential landing spots.

Entering play on Friday he has already scored 31 goals in 48 games, his second straight 30-goal season. Since the start of the 2021-22 season his 62 goals are 15th most in the NHL. That number looks even better when you take into account he has done that in only 118 games. That is a 43-goal pace over 82 games.

That sort of goal scoring will make any team better.

With that in mind it is time again to take an updated look at some of the best teams that could use him.


Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins adding Horvat would take them from a top Stanley Cup favorite to Stanley Cup or bust territory.

They already have the best record in the league by a mile, and adding Horvat to the lineup would give them another top-tier forward to complement Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci, Brad Marchand and Taylor Hall.

The Bruins also have developed a recent habit of trading for pending unrestricted free agents and signing them to long-term contract extensions, having previously done so with Charlie Coyle, Taylor Hall and most recently defenseman Hampus Lindholm.

The Bruins also have to brace themselves for the possibility that one (or both) of Bergeron or Krejci will not be back next season, something that would leave them with a massive hole down the middle.

Horvat would solve that problem.

All of this is easier said than done, however. The Bruins would need to find a way to create salary cap space this season and send one of their contracts back the other way. Jake DeBrusk has wanted out of Boston in the past and even though things seem to have been smoothed over there, this could be a path to get him a new start. The Bruins would also almost certainly have to part with a first-round pick and/or a top prospect like Fabian Lysell.

Steep price to pay? Absolutely. But opportunities to win the Stanley Cup do not come around very often, and this is as good of an opportunity as the Bruins have had in years. Adding Horvat would be the type of all-in move that excites everybody.