Should the Boston Bruins take another run at soon-to-be unrestricted free agent defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson?
Ekman-Larsson had the final four years of his eight-year, $66 million ($8.2M AAV) contract bought out by the Vancouver Canucks this past Friday. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound defenseman – who will turn 32 on July 17 – can now sign with any NHL team as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
The Boston Bruins came close to acquiring Ekman-Larsson twice in the last three years before he was ultimately traded by the Arizona Coyotes to the Vancouver Canucks on July 23, 2021, for the No. 9 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, a 2022 NHL Draft and a seventh-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, and forwards Loui Eriksson, Jay Beagle, and Antoine Roussel.
In the 2020 offseason, the Bruins and the Canucks were the two teams that Ekman-Larsson had agreed to waive his full no-movement clause to go to either team if the Coyotes could facilitate a trade by the start of 2020 unrestricted free agency. That didn’t happen.
A year later, the Bruins were once again linked to Oliver Ekman-Larsson again, but a trade to Boston was not nearly as close as it was in 2020, and he wound up with the Canucks.
Not surprisingly, NHL insiders are starting to link the Boston Bruins to Ekman-Larsson again, but two major factors could prevent a Bruins-Ekman-Larsson union from finally taking place. The Bruins already have $30.8 million in cap space committed to seven defensemen, with three regular left shots. Ekman-Larsson would be a fourth on the crowded left side of the blue line. Ekman-Larsson is also coming off his second-worst season in the NHL, with two goals and 20 assists in 54 games. His worst came in his rookie season (2010-11) when he had a goal and ten assists in 48 games.
So, even at a discounted price, should the Boston Bruins add Oliver Ekman-Larsson? Vote now in our Insticator fan poll below!