The Vancouver Canucks will have two representatives at the 2023 NHL All-Star Game.
At least, they will assuming one of their two All-Stars doesn't get traded.
Elias Pettersson was named to the All-Star Game on the initial roster but it took a fan vote for a second Canuck to make the team. The NHL tallied the votes and announced on Thursday that Bo Horvat will join Pettersson on the Pacific Division All-Star Team.
The other two Pacific Division players who received a berth to the All-Star Game from the fan vote were from the Edmonton Oilers: Leon Draisaitl and Stuart Skinner, who benefited from being one of the few goaltenders in the Pacific who hasn't been outright terrible.
Horvat is very deserving of the honour. He is currently fifth in the NHL in goalscoring with 30 goals in 44 games and is also top 25 in the NHL in points. The question is whether he will even be a member of the Canucks by the time of All-Star Weekend, let alone still in the Pacific Division. The All-Star Weekend takes place on February 3-4 in Sunrise, FL.
Trade rumours have been buzzing around the Canucks captain, as Jim Rutherford has said they've made their best contract offer and it has been rejected. Horvat is not only one of the top goalscorers in the league this season but also one of the top faceoff centres in the NHL, who plays big minutes in all situations — interest in Horvat on the trade market should be massive.
There's a distinct possibility that Horvat gets traded before the end of the month, which raises an interesting conundrum for the All-Star Game: if Horvat gets traded out of the Pacific, then what?
Will Horvat still go to the All-Star Game if he's traded out of the division? It would be awfully strange for an All-Star to lose his spot because of a trade but then there's the awkwardness of imbalanced teams.
It's a minor issue, really, compared to the other ramifications of a potential Horvat trade. It's likely one easily resolved by the traditional "I have a minor injury and can't go to the All-Star Game" chorus that resounds around the NHL at the All-Star break. Assuming that occurs and a roster spot opens up on the appropriate divisional All-Star Team for whatever team Horvat gets traded to, then it's all a moot point.
It will also be a moot point if Horvat isn't traded at all. For a lot of Canucks fans, that would be preferable — the All-Star Game will give Canucks fans one last opportunity to celebrate their captain.