In the last month or so, star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson has heard his name several times in ongoing trade chatter. The Arizona Coyotes had the worst start of the season in October, but are finally on a three-game winning streak and looking to the future.
OEL has struggled this season, to finally get back on track, but his on-ice problems did not stop many rival clubs from circling around and inquiring about his availability on the trade market. Though GM John Chayka has made it clear his star defender is not moving, OEL is still being targeted by many clubs looking for a boost on the back end.
In an interview with Sportsnet's Luke Fox, Ekman-Larsson revealed that he loves everything about being a Coyote, and is looking forward to see how the club’s shaky arena situation plays out. While many fans believe he would want out of the desert, OEL says otherwise.
“I had four or five years here that haven’t been great, but I want to be the guy who turns it around. I love everything about Arizona,” Ekman-Larsson said.
“You have to keep in mind: When you’re not winning, people are going to start talking, and people are going to look for changes.
“If they don’t want me here, they will get rid of me. But I’m happy here, and this is the place I want to be. I want to play for Arizona.”
While the ongoing trade chatter and difficult first 20 games of the season might have been devastating for the blue liner, nothing compares to last season when he lost his mother to cancer.
"That was a difficult year, and I don’t think I’ll ever have to go through something like that again. Hopefully not. I learned a lot about myself and my family and me as a hockey player.”
So the trade rumors can keep coming, OEL can handle it...