Nick Kypreos didn’t say that the Vancouver Canucks and Arizona Coyotes were necessarily working on making a trade with each other, but what he did suggest was that each time might make a move that is highly connected to the other. During his Real Kyper at noon show, Kypreos said, “Vancouver is trying to move Nate Schmidt out to move in Oliver Ekman-Larsson from Arizona.”
We’ve previously reported that the Canucks are looking to move Nate Schmidt. We’ve also previously looked at what comes next for Ekman-Larsson in Arizona. It is expected both players could be on the move and while Schmidt’s potential trade destination is unclear, Ekman-Larsson has been attached to the Canucks in the past.
The problem for Vancouver is salary, which is why moving Schmidt would be so critical if the Canucks are thinking about bringing in all or most of Ekman-Larsson’s $8.25 million salary over the next six seasons.
Doug MacLean said, “We knew Ekman-Larsson was a name they pursued last summer.” He added that he’d like to see the defenseman get a fresh start because there was a lot of buzz a few years ago that this was a Norris-Trophy caliber defensemen, but his career just hasn’t flourished like it should have. MacLean suggests the Coyotes system is stifling the player. “He’d better be a lot better player than what I’ve seen.”
As for Schmidt, reports are now that the player is just as happy to move on from the Canucks as the team is to move him. Can Vancouver make their deal first so that they can get back in on the Ekman-Larsson conversation? It’s not likely that these deals happen where the Canucks bring in the player first.
Again, this is not a report the Canucks and Coyotes are looking at swapping players here. This is a hint that the Canucks want to move Schmidt’s salary so they can get back in the running for Ekman-Larsson. One thing has to come before the other.