The Vancouver Canucks announced on Friday afternoon that they have bought out the contract of Swedish defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.
Whoever becomes a free agent on July 1 will be paid $19.33 million over the next eight years. There were four more years and $29 million left on an eight-year, $66 million deal he signed with the Arizona Coyotes in 2018.
“We want to thank Oliver for his time in Vancouver,” said Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin. The world of hockey is very complex and tough decisions have to be made if you want to stay competitive. The takeover of Oliver gives us much more flexibility and leeway for the next two years and considerably reduces its impact on the following seasons.
Ekman-Larsson, 31, was acquired by the Canucks in a trade from the Arizona Coyotes in July 2021. He hasn’t had the desired impact on the Canucks’ defense, however. The British Columbia squad also posted the ninth-worst defensive record in the league and missed the playoffs.
Conor Garland was also acquired by the Canucks in this trade. In return, they got Jay Beagle, Loui Eriksson, Antoine Roussel, a 2021 first-round pick (Dylan Guenther), a 2022 second-round pick and a 2023 seventh-round pick.
As part of the trade, the Coyotes kept 12% of Ekman-Larsson’s salary. Therefore, the remaining costs and the current cap are split between the two teams based on the percentage of salary retained by the respective clubs.
In two seasons with the Canucks, Ekman-Larsson appeared in 133 games, scoring seven goals and 44 assists for 51 points. The 13-year-old NHL veteran finished his second and final season in Vancouver on injured reserve, missing the final 27 games of the year with an ankle injury.