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Report: Vancouver Canucks will buy out defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
David Quadrelli
11 months ago
We have breaking news, and we were not expecting this.
According to Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Vancouver Canucks will buy out the remaining four years of defenceman Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s contract, making him an unrestricted free agent.
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. Ekman-Larsson’s game fell off a cliff this past season, and the Canucks are clearly not ready to wait around and see if he can turn things around at 32 years old.
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
Obviously this gives the Canucks some much-needed salary cap flexibility for this offseason heading into next season. With the cap expected to rise in 2023-24 and beyond, the Canucks are banking on his cap hit being nothing more than a minor inconvenience from 2024-25 and beyond.
The news of Ethan Bear’s shoulder surgery certainly was a tough blow for the Canucks, who salary cap situation and defence corps alike went from bad to worse with the news that Bear is expected to be out until mid-December. The Canucks will be able to use this $7 million in space to have some flexibility as they try to restructure their subpar blue line.
More to come.

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