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Former Canuck Oliver Ekman-Larsson signs one year deal with Florida Panthers

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Photo credit:© Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
9 months ago
Oliver Ekman-Larsson is headed for Sunrise.
Less than an hour until the NHL’s free agent frenzy begins at 9 AM Pacific, reports emerged that the Florida Panthers had agreed to terms with the former Vancouver Canucks blueliner on a one-year deal with a cap hit of $2.25 million.
The Canucks bought out the remainder of Ekman-Larsson’s contract earlier this month as the 32-year-old defenceman’s game seemingly fell off a cliff last season. OEL was arguably outplayed by players like Christian Wolanin and Akito Hirose, and the team clearly didn’t feel comfortable waiting around to see if he’d be able to turn things around this upcoming season.
Ekman-Larsson was acquired along with Conor Garland in former Canucks GM Jim Benning’s last-ditch effort at one final shortcut to propel the Canucks into playoff contention. GM Patrik Allvin’s regime got the green light from ownership to buy out Ekman-Larsson’s contract, and that comes at a pretty penny.
The Canucks will essentially be paying Ekman-Larsson $20.5 million to not play for them anymore. The buyout will be on their salary cap for the next eight years. Here is a quick breakdown of the Canucks’ cap savings, and what Ekman-Larsson’s buyout cap hit will look like 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
Hopefully with less of a spotlight on him and less of a focus on how overpaid he is, Ekman-Larsson can bounce back to a respectable level of play with the Panthers.
Following the buyout of OEL and not extending a qualifying offer to Ethan Bear or Travis Dermott — plus with Kyle Burroughs heading to the open market — the Canucks have some cap space to play with and some holes on their blueline to go with it.
According to a report from Thomas Drance and Rick Dhaliwal at The Athletic, the Canucks plan on being “big-time players” in signing defencemen Carson Soucy and Ian Cole. You can read more about that here.

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