After serving as a big trade target the Boston Bruins ultimately didn’t land last offseason, it appears that Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson will once again be on the trade block again this offseason.
The Coyotes ownership group wants to unload the puck-moving defenseman and his massive contract, according to Arizona Coyotes Insider Craig Morgan, which really makes all the sense in the world given their financial situation and given the 29-year-old Ekman-Larsson’s declining game at this point in his career.
Ekman-Larsson still managed three goals and 24 points in 46 games this season for the Coyotes but was a minus-17 and expressed frustration with his own game throughout the season after being the subject of trade rumors last year. He also saw his ice time drop to 20:58 per game, still top-4 minutes but the lowest ice time totals since he broke into the NHL back in the 2010-11 NHL season.
So, he’s a bit of a depressed asset that comes with a cap hit of $8.25 million for the next six seasons, which will drop his trade value quite a bit in terms of assets and prospects going to back Arizona in exchange for him. This could be a really good chance for Boston Bruins GM Don Sweeney to swipe up a 6-foot-2, 200-pound “elusive left-shot D that chews up minutes” that even Bruins President Cam Neely admits the B’s have been searching for the last few seasons and get the Coyotes to pick up some of the tab on a player whose value is the lowest its been in his NHL career.
It’s a classic “buy low, sell high” situation for the Bruins, and it’s a player that clearly wants to play in Boston given that Ekman-Larsson previously chose the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks as the two NHL destinations he would approve a trade to last season. So, it would behoove the Bruins to check in on those discussions again and see if there’s a bargain deal to be made with an Arizona franchise that pretty much has to trade Ekman-Larsson this time around.
Now on to the BHN Puck Links:
*Apparently Robin Lehner was motivated by all the people talking crap on twitter about the surprise decision to give him the start in net for Game 4 against the Montreal Canadiens. Who doesn’t love that kind of me-against-the-world mentality? And, full credit, he crushed it when he got the chance. (Vegas Hockey Now)
*The offseason plan for the Philadelphia Flyers could hinge greatly on what happens in the Seattle Kraken expansion draft. (Philly Hockey Now)
*In case you missed it, referees Chris Lee and Dan O’Rourke were an absolute dumpster fire in the back-to-back games in Montreal this weekend between the Canadiens and Golden Knights.
Dan O’Rourke literally watching a Vegas player get his head cross-checked into the dasher and is like “yup, just let ’em play” Whether the NHL is willing to face it or not, they really do have an officiating problem https://t.co/yG3HasBZos
— Joe Haggerty (@HackswithHaggs) June 21, 2021
*It will be a very tough decision for the Colorado Avalanche as to what Philipp Grubauer gets on his next contract with the Avs. (Colorado Hockey Now)
*An A-Z on the Pittsburgh Penguins as the breakdown on their offseason continues. (TribLive)
*What a tough break for Montreal Canadiens head coach Dominique Ducharme getting forced to the sidelines in COVID-19 quarantine after testing positive right in the middle of the semifinals against the Vegas Golden Knights.
“You feel helpless.”
Following his positive COVID-19 test, Dominique Ducharme talks about how he felt when watching the Canadiens in Game 3 away from the bench. pic.twitter.com/2MNCIAiYCC
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) June 20, 2021
*For something completely different: This thing with Chris Harrison getting canceled for hosting the Bachelor franchise is crazy. Of course what he said and did was worthy of criticism and even some level of sanction. But now he’s out of a job he’s had for 20 years. So much for second chances and learning from mistakes. I’ve watched a few episodes with former contestants now “hosting” the show and it’s borderline awful. (Variety)