NHL Rumors: Blackhawks, Golden Knights, Ekman-Larsson, More

In today’s NHL rumor rundown, there is news that the Arizona Coyotes might shop Oliver Ekman-Larsson and his hefty contract. Meanwhile, the other goaltender in Vegas who might be affected by the Marc-Andre Fleury drama has spoken and has something to say about the agent who stirred the pot. Finally, there is an update on what might happen with the Chicago Blackhawks and goaltender Corey Crawford.

Ekman-Larsson’s Future in Arizona Uncertain?

Elliotte Friedman noted on the Saturday Headlines report that he’s heard Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s situation in Arizona might be worth watching. He noted he didn’t have 100% certainty a trade is on the horizon, but there are question marks surrounding the defenseman.

Oliver Ekman-Larsson Arizona Coyotes
Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Arizona Coyotes (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Friedman said:

One of the story lines that’s going to be interesting to watch there with the Coyotes and the offseason is the future of Oliver Ekman-Larsson. He’s their captain, he’s signed to a long term deal, he’s got seven years left (on his deal), he’s got a no-move clause. It could come down to what ownership wants to do too, what the new GM thinks too. I’ve just been told it’s a story to keep an eye on…

Ekman-Larsson carries a hefty contract ($8.25 million over the next seven seasons) so he may not be the easiest player to move, even if there is obvious demand for a blueliner of his talents. And, if he doesn’t want to leave Arizona, the Coyotes are essentially stuck should they be looking to move him.

Related: Hart and Markstrom Are Winning in Very Different Ways

Robin Lehner Calls Out Fleury’s Agent

Showing there’s no hard feelings between the goaltenders in Vegas, Robin Lehner noted that he holds no ill will towards Marc-Andre Fleury for a post that was published by his agent over the weekend. After Allan Walsh posted a graphic suggesting Fleury felt like he was being stabbed in the back by the coach and might be frustrated watching Lehner get all the big starts in net, Lehner didn’t blame Fleury at all.

Robin Lehner Vegas Golden Knights
Robin Lehner, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“(Fleury) didn’t do anything,” said Lehner as per Golden Knights insider Jesse Granger. It was his agent. If he wants to look unprofessional, go ahead. He looks terrible.” He added:

“Me and Marc were just laughing. It’s always the media and everyone else that makes a big deal out of this. I think me and Marc we get along great; he’s a really good guy.”

The belief is still that long-term this doesn’t likely end with Fleury in Vegas but it’s good to know the media circus surrounding the graphic photo isn’t affecting the netminder’s relationship.

Blackhawks Plans for Corey Crawford

When Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman addressed the media Friday, he noted he had no intentions to comment on the team’s plans regarding their goaltending situation, specifically on goaltender Corey Crawford. Still, there are questions in respect to Crawford’s future.

Corey Crawford
(Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Crawford, a pending unrestricted free agent will have to decide if he stays in Chicago or leaves and where’s he’s most likely to get anything close to his $6 million salary. It doesn’t sound like that will happen with the Blackhawks.

Bowman discussed some players willingness to take home-town discounts, potentially sending a hint to Crawford that this might be an expectation if he’s looking to stay.

John Dietz of the Daily Herald writes:

For Crawford to return, he will likely have to sign for less than the $6 million a year he made on his last contract. Some are speculating the number could be as low as $3 million, but a more realistic number is in the $4.5 million to $5 million range.

source – Chicago Blackhawks’ GM won’t divulge goaltending plan, not sure about Seabrook’s role’ – John Dietz -Daily Herald – 08/21/2020

Catch up on all the latest NHL Rumors