We wrote yesterday about how defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is set to return to the Arizona Coyotes this coming week and discussed comments he made about how he feels after having gone through a trying offseason, trade speculation, and his relationship with the team moving forward. He was asked how he might approach trade requests in the future and responded that he’s happy to be a Coyote but will deal with that bridge when they get to it.
More specifically, when asked directly for comments on possible trade rumors in the future, Ekman-Larsson said:
“That’s a question for (GM) Bill (Armstrong) to be honest with you. There’s not much I can do about it. I’m just trying to stay in the moment. I know everybody says that but I really had a good offseason. I worked out really hard to show that I wanted to be here, wanted to get better and hopefully that transfers into the stuff on the ice. I feel really happy that I am here but if that day comes where they ask again, I will deal with it then.”
Saying that he expects conversations with Armstrong to come in the not-too distant future, Ekman-Larsson might want to prepare himself for the idea that the Coyotes might ask again. Why? Because one of the teams that was heavily rumored to be in on him, the Boston Bruins, might still be interested.
Boston Hockey Now’s Joe Haggerty recently wrote that there is some concern in Boston that the Bruins haven’t done enough to replace the production that left when defenseman Torey Krug signed with the St. Louis Blues this offseason. No Bruins defenseman on the current roster has scored more than 32 points in a given season and that’s an issue for head coach Bruce Cassidy who believes the Bruins blue line is unfinished and there may be more moves coming.
Because the Bruins could have trouble finding a solution from within, Haggerty notes that the Bruins might be more open to re-visiting talks with Arizona about trading for Ekman-Larsson. At the same time, since Ekman-Larsson hasn’t shut down the possibility of waiving again, there could be something there.
Haggerty adds that this isn’t a deal that would happen before the 2021 season starts. In fact, it wouldn’t happen for a while into the season, if it happens at all.
First, the Bruins want to see what Urho Vaakanainen and Jakub Zboril can do when given an opportunity for everyday NHL duties. Second, Cassidy believes that players like Matt Grzelcyk a Charlie McAvoy could slide in and take on more responsibility. If that fails, the Bruins need to figure out something else.
From there, it becomes a question of cap space. The Bruins have over $6 million to play with, but they have forward Jake DeBrusk to worry about. And, the question becomes what the Coyotes would be looking for in return. If the Bruins come back to the table on a trade, Arizona knows that some of the leverage in negotiations have shifted their way.