Report: Ekman-Larsson would approve trade to Canucks, Bruins
Andy Devlin / National Hockey League / Getty

The Vancouver Canucks and Boston Bruins are believed to be the two teams Arizona Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson would be willing to join in a trade, reports Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.

The situation is fluid and Ekman-Larsson's desires could change at any time, Friedman notes.

Boston and Arizona were engaged in trade discussions about the defenseman before the Coyotes hired Bill Armstrong as their general manager in September, according to TSN's Darren Dreger. Steve Sullivan had been serving as the Coyotes' interim general manager after they parted ways with John Chayka in July.

The Bruins are projected to have $14.4 million in cap space this offseason before re-signing restricted free agents Jake DeBrusk and Matt Grzelcyk, according to CapFriendly. With Torey Krug a pending unrestricted free agent and Zdeno Chara possibly on the verge of retirement, Ekman-Larsson - a left-handed shooter - could help fill potential holes on the left side of Boston's blue line.

The Canucks are projected by CapFriendly to have $14.3 million in offseason cap space, but their situation is far more complicated than Boston's. A number of Vancouver's key players are set to become UFAs, including Tyler Toffoli, Josh Leivo, Chris Tanev, and Jacob Markstrom.

Vancouver also has a handful of RFAs who are due for modest raises in Jake Virtanen, Tyler Motte, and Troy Stecher. More importantly, the entry-level deals of cornerstone players Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes expire after next season.

The Coyotes, meanwhile, are in a serious salary-cap bind: They're projected to have just $1.1 million in cap space this offseason with three RFAs and three UFAs.

Ekman-Larsson has seven years remaining on a contract that carries an $8.25-million annual cap hit and includes a full no-movement clause. The 29-year-old is coming off the worst offensive season of his career after tallying nine goals and 30 points in 66 games in 2019-20. He averaged 17 goals and 45 points in the six seasons prior.

On the defensive side of the puck, Ekman-Larsson has limited expected goals against at a below-average rate since his career year in 2015-16, according to HockeyViz's examination of his isolated impact at five-on-five.

It's possible a change of scenery could help him improve those metrics.

Report: Ekman-Larsson would approve trade to Canucks, Bruins
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