Benning hopes to have Bo Horvat contract done this week

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Of the 11 restricted free agents that remain unsigned, Vancouver Canucks forward Bo Horvat is probably one of the bigger names still in need of a new contract.

It sounds like he may be getting closer to getting one, at least according to general manager Jim Benning.

Benning appeared on Sportsnet 650 on Monday morning and said that talks between the team and Horvat are going well and that he hopes to have a contract completed by the end of the week.

Horvat, the Canucks’ top pick (No. 9 overall) in 2012 just completed his entry-level contract this past season and had his best season to date, finishing with a team-high 52 points (20 goals, 32 assists) in 81 games. Since making his NHL debut three years ago Horvat has developed into one of the few bright spots for the Canucks and seems like he should be capable of being a steady top-six point producer.

The Canucks should have plenty of cap space to get him signed, even after adding Thomas Vanek in free agency this past week. It is now simply a matter of what sort of contract the Canucks are willing to give him at this point — a short-term bridge deal, or a long-term deal that locks him in place at a set salary.

Related: Canucks sign Thomas Vanek to one-year, $2 million contract