Ekman-Larsson is Back on the Trade Block

Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson is joining Dougie Hamilton and Seth Jones among the prominent defensemen in this summer's trade market.
Author:
Publish date:
USATSI_14188127

Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson is joining Dougie Hamilton of the Carolina Hurricanes and the Columbus Blue Jackets' Seth Jones among the prominent defensemen in this summer's trade market.

On Saturday, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported the Coyotes will make another attempt to trade Ekman-Larsson. They tried moving him last fall before the 29-year-old defenseman's self-imposed deadline of Oct. 9. At that time, he agreed to waive his no-movement clause for only the Boston Bruins or Vancouver Canucks. Talks with those clubs fell through before the time limit.

Friedman said the Coyotes and Ekman-Larsson will take a different approach this time. If management gets a suitable offer, they'll confer with his representatives to determine if he's comfortable with it. That could broaden his preferred trade destinations but there's no certainty a suitable deal will be found.

AZ Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan pointed out Ekman-Larsson's performance has declined in recent years. His average ice time in 2020-21 (20:58) was his lowest since his rookie season while his 5-on-5 numbers were “disturbingly low for a player of his stature and pay grade.”

His contract is another big sticking point. Apart from the no-movement clause, he's carrying an $8.25-million annual salary cap hit through 2026-27. The Coyotes could be forced to absorb part of it or take back another hefty salary to make a deal happen.

Decreasing numbers and a big contract make Ekman-Larsson a difficult sell in an off-season with the salary cap expected to remain flat for 2021-22. Still, there's a chance a club with cap space seeking an experienced left-side defenseman could take a chance if the dollars can be worked out. 

TOP HEADLINES

Evander Kane

Evander Kane Accused of Gambling on His Own Games

In an Instagram post, Evander Kane's wife accused the San Jose Sharks forward of gambling on his own NHL games.

USATSI_15643697
Play

Have These NHL Teams Improved Via Free Agency?

A few teams made an effort to change the way they play. But it remains to be seen if these teams can improve their records.

Philipp Grubauer
Play

Grubauer Surprised, Excited to Get Opportunity with Kraken

Signing Philipp Grubauer was the biggest splash made by the NHL’s newest franchise. Landing him seemed unlikely given the success he had last season in Colorado, but the Kraken jumped at the opportunity.