The biggest rumor circulating hockey twitter currently is Coyotes D Oliver Ekman-Larsson being on the way out. Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night In Canada confirmed OEL’s list is down to Boston and Vancouver. It was believed that Edmonton was in the race as well, but they are not anymore.
With Torey Krug more likely than not on the way out for Boston, this deal makes a lot of sense for the club. The left side of Boston’s defense is one of their biggest problems, and bringing in a seasoned player like OEL would check a lot of boxes off for Boston. A pairing of him and Charlie McAvoy would wreak havoc across the league, and they’d be around for a while. With OEL’s contract locking him up through 2026-27, this would allow an easier transition for the team when Chara eventually retires. He is a great locker room piece, having been the Coyotes team captain since 2018. As well as standing at 6’2″, he brings about everything to the game you want from a player.
At first, this proposition made zero sense to me. If the Bruins want to bring in Ekman-Larsson, why not just retain Krug for less money? However, with the Coyotes in severe salary-cap strain, Boston holds a lot of leverage in a potential deal. If they’re able to force Arizona to retain part of his salary and offload someone like John Moore, it is something I would do in a heartbeat. I may be one of the biggest John Moore haters in Boston, and I would walk his bags to Arizona if this were the deal that would go down.
There was also another rumor circulating about a potential mega-trade involving OEL, Darcy Kuemper, and Tuukka Rask. As I’ve talked about in previous pieces, Rask is potentially on his way out of Boston, and if Boston would be able to find their replacement for him and bring in a guy like OEL, that seems like a win to me. However, it’s only a win if you know Rask is done after this season. I can’t imagine any other reason why Sweeney, all of a sudden, is looking to trade him. If that is the unfortunate case, then a deal revolving around this would be an excellent move for Sweeney, IMO.