NHL Rumors: Vancouver Canucks Shopping Defenseman

Reports are flying out of Vancouver this week as the Canucks are creating some buzz. Turns out they reportedly were trying to trade defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson before the trade deadline but the veteran defenseman wouldn't waive his no-trade protection to approve a deal.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman spoke with Rick Dhaliwal from CHEK television and had some interesting comments about OEL's future with the Canucks:

I think the Canucks are going to be a very aggressive team, in terms of what they’re willing to try and what they’re willing to think of. I don’t know if the OEL thing is going to work… but I do think the Canucks are trying to see if there’s anything they could potentially do there. I just think that the Canucks have tried to look around to see if there’s a market there

Sounds like there could be a draft-day blockbuster coming just in time for the Canucks to create some more cap flexibility come free agency. Management duo Jim Rutherford and Patrik Allvin were already able to get a third-round pick for Travis Hamonic, so they should be able to land a big package for the 30-year-old Swedish defenseman, even with his $7.26 million cap hit through the next five seasons.

Ekman-Larsson was one of the Canucks best defenseman in 2021-22, averaging second on the team in ice-time and finishing the season with 29 points in 79 games. It's been six seasons since he broke the 50-point mark so perhaps his declining numbers scare some teams away. OEL has a full no-movement clause and before heading to Vancouver had the Boston Bruins hot on his coat tails. Let's see if they are one of the teams in the mix once the Stanley Cup Playoffs conclude. It's surely going to be an interesting summer for the Canucks and their fan base.

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