BOSTON (CBS) — The Boston Bruins have been at the forefront of the trade rumors surrounding Arizona defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson for the last few weeks. Those rumors have dragged on a bit, but the situation should come to a head by Friday.
That’s because Ekman-Larsson has given the Coyotes a Friday deadline to trade him to the Bruins or Vancouver Canucks, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. Those are the only two teams the 29-year-old wants to go to, and his no-movement clause gives him the power to make such demands.
If the Coyotes can’t work out a trade with those two clubs, Ekman-Larsson will remain in Arizona.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson through his agent, Kevin Epp has imposed a Friday deadline for a trade to either Boston or Vancouver. “We think the best option for a trade is before free agency,” Epp told TSN. “If no deal by Friday, Oliver is staying in Arizona.”
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) October 6, 2020
Ekman-Larsson, who has spent his entire 10-year career with the Coyotes organization since they drafted him sixth overall in 2009, has seven years left on his contract and carries an annual cap hit of $8.25 million. That would make him a pricey acquisition for the Bruins, and that doesn’t even account for what the team would have to send to Arizona for his services.
The Bruins don’t have a first-round pick in this year’s draft (the Canucks don’t either), so a trade package for OEL would likely consist of a 2021 first-round pick, an additional pick and at least one prospect — likely in the pool of Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen or Trent Frederic. Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman reported Monday that Arizona likes Boston’s prospects more, but Vancouver has been the more motivated buyer.
The Bruins could always opt to just re-sign Torey Krug, which would be a slightly cheaper option, but GM Don Sweeney said Monday that talks with the soon-to-be free agent haven’t gone anywhere. That’s not ideal with free agency underway on Friday.
But the Bruins should know by the end of the week if they have a deal for another solid blue liner for their defensive corps, or if they’ll need to pivot back to re-signing Krug.