Ekman-Larsson and agent surprised by buyout, Canucks GM Allvin explains reasoning

Photo credit:© Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
11 months ago
By now you’ve probably heard the big news of the day: Oliver Ekman-Larsson has been bought out by the Vancouver Canucks.
The news came down on Friday afternoon, with Canucks GM Patrik Allvin confirming the news shortly over an hour after Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman first reported on the buyout. Allvin also explained the club’s thought process behind the buyout.
“We would like to thank Oliver for the time he spent in Vancouver,” said Allvin. “The business of hockey is very complex and tough decisions have to be made if you want to remain competitive. Buying out Oliver gives us a lot more flexibility and cap space the next couple of years and significantly reduces his hit in the subsequent seasons. It is our expectation that following this year, the cap will also raise considerably making this the right time to execute this buyout. Our organization is committed to do whatever it needs to do to improve, get better on and off the ice, and move forward in a positive direction.”
Speaking with Rick Dhaliwal of Donnie and Dhali — The Team, Ekman-Larsson’s agent Kevin Epp said he and his client were “surprised” by the news, which they got from the team on Friday morning.
“Got the call this morning, we were surprised,” said Epp, per Dhaliwal. “Oliver met with management and ownership after the season and did not believe this would happen. His time in Vancouver was tumultuous, 3 coaches and 2 GMs. It was difficult, the GM that brought him here is no longer here.”
When asked about buyouts at his season-ending press conference, Patrik Allvin threw cold water on the idea of buying out any players. That, coupled with the $20.5 million price tag that ownership will now foot the bill on for Ekman-Larsson not to play for the Canucks, made many believe an OEL buyout was highly unlikely.
Somewhat unexpected news of another minimal salary cap increase coupled with Ethan Bear’s recent shoulder injury that’s expected to keep him out until mid-December — along with a host of other already circumstances — forced the Canucks hand a bit here.
Ekman-Larsson was acquired along with Conor Garland in former Jim Benning’s last ditch effort at one final shortcut to propel the Canucks into playoff contention. The buyout will now be on their salary cap for the next eight years.
Here is a year-by-year breakdown of the cap hit Ekman-Larsson’s contract carries on the Canucks’ books:
2022-23: $146,667
2023-24: $2,346,667
2024-25: $4,766,667
2024-25: $4,766,667
2025-26: $2,126,667
2026-27: $2,126,667
2027-28: $2,126,667
2028-29: $2,126,667

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