NHL Rumors: Arizona Coyotes – Top-Six Need, Ekman-Larsson and Pending UFAs

NHL Rumors: Arizona Coyotes – Top-Six Need, Ekman-Larsson and Pending UFAs

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Oliver Ekman-Larsson could be one of the Arizona Coyotes priorities this offseason.
On the Arizona Coyotes …

Richard Morin of the Arizona Republic: Some areas of need for the Coyotes this offseason.

1. Adding a proven goal scorer or two – Their main priority this offseason should be adding at least one top-six forward. One scorer is a priority; two would be ideal.

Options include James van Riemsdyk, Patrick Maroon and Rick Nash. GM John Chayka said that he hopes to revisit some pre-trade deadline trade talks this week.

“These are players we’ve targeted for a long time,” Chayka said. “There’s a lot more fluidity and liquidity in the (offseason trade) market. For me as a manager, it’s a lot easier to make those types of moves. The draft is a time to do it. But certainly we’ve laid the groundwork and (are) looking forward to continuing those conversations.”

2. Will the Coyotes be able to sign Oliver Ekman-Larsson to a contract extension? OEL has a year left on his deal and they don’t have to extend him now, but it would be ideal.

He didn’t start off the season well but rebounded well in the second half. They could name him as their captain this offseason.

“I would obviously like to figure something out,” Ekman-Larsson said about his expiring contract. “I’ve said it so many times. This is where I want to be. Hopefully we can work something out.”

3. Which free agents will be re-signed? Chayka said they had had some preliminary talks with some of their free agents. Pending free agents include Brad Richardson, Zac Rinaldo, Freddie Hamilton, Kevin Connauton and Luke Schenn.

Richardson may have the best odds of returning.

Connauton could be looking for a decent raise but may fit in as the Coyotes No. 6 defenseman. They may be better off and going cheaper with prospects like Kyle Capobianco or Trevor Murphy.