If Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson is going to be traded this offseason, it will have to be done by Friday before the start of NHL free agency.
This is the deadline revealed by his agent, Kevin Epp, on Tuesday.
Free agency is scheduled to begin at noon ET on Friday.
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The two teams that Ekman-Larsson would accept a trade to join are the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks. The Coyotes captain has a no-movement clause in his contract, which gives him all the leverage in this situation.
He hasn't done the Coyotes any favors by limiting his trade list to these two teams.
Neither the B's nor the Canucks have a first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, which begins Tuesday night. The Canucks also aren't in a great salary cap situation and absorbing the $8.25 million cap hit in Ekman-Larsson's contract -- which has seven years remaining -- would not be the easiest task.
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The Bruins might not even need Ekman-Larsson if they are able to re-sign veteran defenseman Torey Krug, who's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time Friday. If Krug does leave, Ekman-Larsson is among the options Boston could consider in pursuing a top-four defenseman.
Sportsnet reported Monday that the Coyotes like the Bruins' prospects more than the Canucks' in a potential trade involving Ekman-Larsson.
Boston's top two prospects are defenseman Urho Vaakanainen and center Jack Studnicka. The Bruins also have two young, talented NHL players they could dangle on the trade market in left winger Jake DeBrusk (also a restricted free agent) and defenseman Brandon Carlo.