Early in this particular NHL offseason, a lot of time was spent talking about possible trades out of Arizona as the team looked to shed salaries. No names were bigger than that of defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson who was potentially on the move. A big salary and a large commitment from any team that acquired him, speculation was that two teams were on his short-list prior to the blueliner telling the Coyotes their window to move him had closed.
It was a strange situation made stranger by the timing of everything. Both within the Coyotes organization and around the NHL as the league dealt with a flat cap situation, the Coyotes doing what they needed to in order to move Ekman-Larsson wasn’t going to be easy. Now, the defenseman is finally speaking about what all went down there, how it was his name got mentioned in trade talks in the first place and why he ended up staying put.
Ekman-Larsson Never Wanted to Leave Coyotes
The defenseman spoke in great detail about the trade rumors with Uffe Bodin, Editor in chief/chefredaktör of hockeysverige. He noted that it was never his desire to leave Arizona and said the reason the trade never went down was almost as much because he didn’t want it to as it was two teams not being able to figure things out.
“I signed because I wanted to be in Arizona until I’m 36. When this rumor appeared, it felt awkward and it was a tough situation. I had never been in a situation like this before with trade rumors. Mentally, it was tough.”
In the end, it was true that the Coyotes explored trade options, but the way Ekman-Larsson puts it, talks probably never got very far.
There were two teams speculated to have the most interest. While the Edmonton Oilers were rumored to be in the mix, talk was Ekman-Larsson wouldn’t waive to go there. What he would confirm was that both the Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins the two final potential landing spots.
That said, he still wasn’t keen on going to either and noted he only approved those to two team to help the Coyotes. He explained:
“I have a no-trade/no movement clause in my contract. I picked those teams because I didn’t want to stand in the way of the team in case they felt like they needed to move me. That’s the person I am. I put those teams there as alternatives, but I never really wanted to move. I never really wanted to do anything but stay in Arizona. I’m really happy that it ended this way. I really like to live there and it would have been very hard for me to leave.”
Ekman-Larsson Is Glad He Wasn’t Move
That the trade never ultimately went down makes the defenseman happy. Outside of wanting to stay in Arizona, he’s also noting that people might not be giving this team enough credit. Ekman-Larsson believes that this a decent squad on paper and he’s happy to be part of the roster.
He also believes the rumors of the Coyotes trying to sell off salary from the team is overexaggerated. Despite all the talk, very little was done and most of the big names and big contracts stayed put.
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