Oliver Ekman-Larsson Finds New NHL Home For Next Season

After his recent buyout by the Vancouver Canucks, the Oliver Ekman-Larsson next destination rumors began in earnest. Now, according to reports, his chosen next stop will be with the Florida Panthers.

It'll be a one-year, $2.25M deal for OEL, who is also still bringing in nearly $2.5M in buyout money annually. 

The soon-to-be 32-year-old defenseman had a tough couple of seasons in Vancouver, and the Canucks were happier to eat the remaining $19.3M he was due to earn with four years still remaining on that contract. Now Vancouver will be paying him not to play for them for the next eight seasons. 

For now, that's the Panthers' gain, as they add a former All-Star at a cheap rate who will try to return to that form in a new uniform. At the very least, they're hoping he'll be an upgraded version of what departing left-shot defenseman Marc Staal provided this past season.

Ekman-Larsson had just two goals and 20 assists for 22 points in 54 games for the Canucks in 2022-23, in 20:11 of ice time per contest. He was a minus-24. 

After a series of strong seasons with the Arizona Coyotes earlier in his career, OEL was able to score an eight-year, $8.25M AAV contract extension from them in 2018. The Canucks dealt for him in 2021, and will continue to pay the price into the 2030s. 

Photo: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports