According to TSN NHL Insider Darren Dreger, Arizona Coyotes all-star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson and his agent Kevin Epp have set a Friday deadline for the Coyotes to trade him to either the Boston Bruins or the Vancouver Canucks. After denying a request from Coyotes General manager Billy Armstrong to expand his no-movement clause to more teams last week, either the Coyotes work a deal out with the Bruins or Canucks by the time free agency begins at noon on Friday or Ekman-Larsson will remain in the desert.
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
When the Coyotes came to Oliver Ekman-Larsson early last month to see if he would waive his no-movement clause, the 29-year-old defenseman who had 21 assists and 30 points in 66 games this past season, told them that he would only waive the no-movement clause to go to either the Bruins or Canucks. Former interim GM Steve Sullivan began trade discussions with Bruins GM Don Sweeney and Canucks GM Jim Benning and after the Coyotes hired Armstrong as their new GM on September 17, he took over the negotiating with Sweeney and Benning.
Ekman-Larsson’s contract still has six years left with an annual cap hit of $8.2 million. Both the Bruins and Canucks wanted the cash and cap-strapped Coyotes to take back salary in the trade and Armstrong wasn’t willing to do so. Factor in that neither the Bruins nor Canucks have a first round pick in tonight’s NHL Entry Draft and it’s been difficult for Armstrong to find the right fit. This past Saturday, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that Armstrong is asking for first and second round picks as well as a high-end prospect. Friedman believes the Coyotes are apparently more enamored with the Bruins’ stable of prospects but the Canucks were more eager to get a deal done.
There has been speculation that Armstrong could be willing to accept a 2021 first rounder since they had their 2020 second round pick and their 2021 first rounder stripped from them as punishment for scouting combine violations, this past season. Arizona is also missing a third rounder in this draft and will not pick until the fourth round. The Bruins won’t select until the second round on Wednesday.