According to a report from TSN’s Darren Dreger, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman Larsson has reached a verbal agreement on a contract extension with the team.
Sources say the Arizona Coyotes have reached a verbal agreement on a contract extension for Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
The extension is believed to be 8 years and 8+ million per.
Officially the 26 year old blue liner cannot sign his new deal until July 1st, but Dreger reports that the two sides have reached a verbal agreement and will make thing official once the month rolls over. Ekman Larsson has one season remaining on a six year deal that pays him an annual salary of $5.5 million. His new contract will be the richest contract in Arizona Coyotes history, trumping his own previous six year, $33 million deal.
Ekman Larsson was slated to hit the unrestricted free agent market in the summer of 2019, along with fellow Norris Trophy calibre defensemen Drew Doughty and Erik Karlsson of the Los Angeles Kings and Ottawa Senators, respectively. With Ekman Larsson now off the list of available targets, it will be interesting to see how his new contract affects the bargaining power of others. Doughty and Karlsson aside, Ekman Larsson’s new deal could also have a giant impact on pending free agent John Carlson of the Washington Capitals.
While Ekman Larsson's name has appeared in trade rumors the past few months, Coyotes general manager John Chayka has maintained that the team was NOT looking to make a trade. Chayka's intention all along was to negotiate a new deal and sign his top defenseman to a long term deal. Come July 1st, the eight year extension will be official and Ekman Larsson will be off the trade market. Prior to this development Ekman Larsson had been linked with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights and Edmonton Oilers in rumor reports.
Ekman Larsson has played his entire NHL career with the Coyotes after being selected by the team in the first round (6th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. The smooth skating Swede has 102 goals and 290 points in 576 career NHL games and put up an impressive 14 goals and 42 points in 82 games this past season.