Clearly out of playoff contention, the Arizona Coyotes have to make a decision on defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
However, one important thing needs to be clarified, and Craig Morgan of AZCentral took it upon himself to tell rival teams they might be dreaming when it comes to OEL. Contrary to recent reports, there seems to be no indication that the Coyotes are actively seeking to trade key players such as Ekman-Larsson.
Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun reported on Sunday that there were several teams, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs, New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers, engaging with the Coyotes in trade talks specifically for Ekman-Larsson.
But Morgan is adamant, and so is his colleague Richard Morin: there is no indication that any of those talks lasted more than a few minutes.
Like any teams across the NHL right now, Morin believes the Coyotes are listening to offers but not actively seeking to trade key players — especially their cornerstone defenseman, the future of the franchise.
Garrioch noted in his article that Coyotes GM John Chayka is asking for two high-end players and a first-round pick in return. But Morin has an answer for that too:
"Of course, things can always change before the 1 p.m., Feb. 26 deadline — but for the time being there doesn’t seem to be any haste on the part of the Coyotes to deal their longest-tenured player."
So, who is telling the truth? Will OEL remain a Coyote past the deadline, or is he on his way out to play for a Cup contender?