While the Oliver Ekman-Larsson trade rumors dominated the pre-free agency headlines, the Arizona Coyotes’ star defenseman ultimately stayed put. Now, the ’Yotes captain tells AZ Central’s Jose Romero that this was the result that he had hoped for:
I have a clause in my contract, a no-trade, no-move clause. At the same time, I did not want to stand in the way if the organization felt otherwise. That’s how I am as a person. It was more that if they wanted to remove me, I set up the two clubs as an alternative, but, as I said, I wanted nothing better than to continue in Arizona so it feels good that it turned out the way it did.
Ekman-Larsson didn’t stand in the Coyotes’ way of making a trade per say, but the longest-tenured Coyote provided as little flexibility as he could while seeming open to a deal. Ekman-Larsson provided Arizona with just two teams he would accept a trade to, the Boston Bruins and Vancouver Canucks, and also set a deadline of October 9 for a deal to be completed. While the team reportedly had talks with both Boston and Vancouver, no deal could be reached in time and Ekman-Larsson stayed put. While he admits that even being available on his own terms was uncomfortable, Ekman-Larsson feels happy to still be a Coyote and has moved past the whole situation. Arizona meanwhile will have to find another way to solve their current salary cap crisis.
- While there is a negative correlation between reaching a salary arbitration hearing and the number of seasons that player spends with his team after the fact, Tyler Bertuzzi remains on good terms with the Detroit Red Wings, according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press. Bertuzzi tells James that all is well, even after the player was critically examined by his own team in front of an arbitrator, who seemingly agreed with an award closer to where the Red Wings filed. Bertuzzi went so far as to say the process “went smoothly” and stated that it was “nothing personal at all.” Congratulations are due to Detroit and GM Steve Yzerman on not only winning the arbitration battle, but maintaining such good terms with the subject. Bertuzzi’s experience with an arbitration hearing is far from the norm.
- Daniil Gushchin, selected in the third round by the San Jose Sharks earlier this month, had previously signed with the OHL’s Niagara Ice Dogs this summer after the team picked him fourth overall in the 2020 CHL Import Draft. This seemingly marked the end of his consideration of going the collegiate route as well as his time in the USHL. Yet, with the OHL season delayed, Gushchin’s USHL club, the Muskegon Lumberjacks, have revealed that their star forward is still very much in the mix for the 2020-21. It is possible that the Ice Dogs have negotiated a loan of Gushchin to the Lumberjacks until OHL training camps open, but it also may be that the skilled forward has simply found himself a place to play. So long as Gushchin stays in the USHL this season and does not suit up in the OHL, he would maintain his NCAA eligibility and could still wind up joining a college program, many of whom had interest before he committed to Niagara.