That is all Twitter may collectively say after the Vancouver Canucks despatched Jay Beagle, Antoine Roussell and Loui Eriksson, the ninth-overall choose on Friday, a second-round choose in 2022 and a further seventh-rounder in change for Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Conor Garland.
Once more, whoa.
Canucks followers had been hoping the staff may lastly discover a method to dump the salaries of three gamers that actually by no means lived as much as their ghastly contracts. It is a dream come true – to some extent.
The problem? OEL.
Sure, the contracts for these three forwards have been ugly, however they’re finished on the finish of the 2021-22 season. The Coyotes, a dumping floor of types the previous two weeks, are taking over simply over $11 million that’ll be all gone a 12 months from now. The Canucks? Ekman-Larsson’s contract is $8.25 million for the following six years. The Coyotes will tackle $1.2 million per 12 months for the rest of the deal, which helps, however the deal nonetheless is not going to look that good down the road.
Ekman-Larsson is much from the participant he was once. On the time, OEL’s deal made since, however it’s like all hell broke lose two years later. In keeping with a mannequin by JFresh, a pacesetter in superior analytics and participant modeling, Ekman-Larsson has a wins-above-replacement score of simply 5 % out of a rating of 100. That is often reserved for a few of the least efficient gamers within the league.
In the event you’re not into these sorts of stats, or do not know what you are , you are mainly seeing a once-star defenseman on a hefty deal that is taking part in like he is on the finish of his profession. There was 130 defenseman that performed no less than 700 minutes at even energy final 12 months, and Ekman-Larsson managed to complete on the absolute backside in anticipated goals-for proportion at 41.1 %. The Coyotes weren’t a terrific staff, in fact, however he was lifeless final on his personal staff. defenseman on a foul staff will not seem on the backside, even when he is taking part in powerful matchups.
The Coyotes have not been a very good staff for almost OEL’s total NHL profession, and undoubtedly did not assist pull up his efficiency. If the Canucks are to be a greater staff – a wholesome Elias Pettersson and the addition of Garland ought to assist, however Vancouver truly completed behind Arizona this previous season – then perhaps he can conceal behind Quinn Hughes a bit. However the staff already has a rocky contract in Tyler Myers, and Ekman-Larsson’s play undoubtedly hasn’t trended in the precise path.
The Ekman-Larsson acquisition may not instantly kill the staff proper now, however it’s not trying promising for the longer term. The trajectory is not fairly, however perhaps being in a staff with some younger expertise and a few promise – and a little bit of mismanagement – OEL can discover his personal type ultimately. He would not should be the No. 1 man like he was till Jakub Chychrun actually exploded on the scene this 12 months, so which may assist, no less than.
There are a few methods of this. Who received the commerce now? Vancouver shed a few of its worst contracts and roster areas for a strong ahead and an NHL defender who may probably enhance this coming season. Lengthy-term? The Canucks get a high 10 choose, further cap house after a 12 months and shed one of many worst contracts the staff has ever had.
Can OEL be mounted? Possibly. Accidents have hampered his play the previous few seasons. Possibly when he is wholesome, he can actually cement himself as a man who can nonetheless run an influence play and be productive. However Vancouver’s protection is not ready to make a struggling blueliner higher, and that is a tall story with the cap he presently has.
You simply do not usually discover many guys leaping up performance-wise of their 30s after accidents.
In the long run, GM Jim Benning’s earlier contract errors price him a ninth general choose. Garland ought to be good, however Oliver Ekman-Larsson is much from the defenseman he as soon as was. The 2021 draft is not a terrific one, and the choose is price rather less this 12 months, however that is nonetheless a misplaced asset that might have gone a good distance. If the Canucks can one way or the other transfer OEL’s contract in a while, even when it means retaining some heavy wage, then the potential of Garland being a constant 20-25-goal man makes the deal look a lot better on that truth alone.
Oh, by the way in which, Elias Pettersson and Quinn Hughes are RFAs this 12 months and Brock Boeser is subsequent summer time. Check out Vancouver’s cap hit and do the maths.
Look. The Canucks removed a few items that did not contribute a lot to the staff and, on the very least, get the very best participant proper now within the deal within the type of Garland, an RFA. There’s plenty of hope for Garland to be a key contributor in Vancouver like he was in Arizona, albeit with lesser expertise round him within the desert. Possibly he is the spark the staff wants upfront.
Lengthy story brief? Vancouver obtained the higher gamers, in principle, however the danger related to Ekman-Larsson may actually bit the staff within the behind.