This Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade possibility that seemed fairly unlikely at first is starting to look more and more realistic.
Thursday afternoon brought several reports in quick succession that have provided some more clarity on the Arizona defenseman’s market and where the Bruins stand.
First, TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that “things are believed to be intensifying” on the Ekman-Larsson trade front and that the Oilers, one of the teams rumored to be interested, have been told they are not on the short list of teams Ekman-Larsson would waive his no-movement clause to go to.
Then Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported that as of now, Ekman-Larsson’s very short list of teams he would waive his no-movement clause for includes the Bruins and Canucks.
Longtime Coyotes reporter Craig Morgan of AZ Coyotes Insider then followed up on Friedman’s report by tweeting, “Boston has been a favored destination.”
Well then. That’s a lot to take in, but the takeaway should be clear: Things are moving quickly, the Bruins are very much involved, and they may even be the favorites.
We have covered the possibility of the Bruins acquiring Ekman-Larsson a couple times, most recently when we took a look at what it might cost to get him.
Ekman-Larsson just turned 29 and has been a bona fide top-pairing defenseman for years, not to mention a team captain. He’s 6-foot-2, he’s a good skater, he plays in every situation, and he contributes offensively.
The Bruins probably view him as someone who kind of plugs multiple holes on the left side of their defense. He can take over the top-pairing minutes that have long gone to Zdeno Chara, while also making up for some of the blue-line offense they’re about to lose in Torey Krug.
Ekman-Larsson does come with a big price tag, though, and not just the package you’ll have to trade to the Coyotes to get him. He is also signed for the next seven seasons with an annual cap hit of $8.25 million.
Needless to say, this would be a blockbuster trade. If the Bruins are going to make it, it’s because they love Ekman-Larsson and want him to be part of their core for many years to come.