Oliver Ekman-Larsson won’t even celebrate his 24th birthday until July 17, but the amount of off-ice drama he’s had to endure might feel like more than a career’s worth. Since he made his debut on Oct. 9, 2010, the Coyotes have been in an almost constant state of uncertainty and just when it looked like they might finally be moving past that, the City of Glendale voted to terminate their lease agreement with the team, sparking a legal battle and a fresh wave of speculation about the franchise’s future.
“Not again,” Ekman-Larsson said, summing up his initial reaction to ESPN 1230’s Sebastian Noren on Today’s Slapshot. “We’ve been through so much the past couple of years, and now this happens. It’s disappointing and extremely frustrating that we have to go through something like this again.”
When asked if he feels unwelcome by the City of Glendale, he agreed, although that doesn’t mean that he’s ready to pack up and leave. He appreciates the support of the fans and hopes the team is able to stay in Glendale despite the City Council’s actions.
At the same time, he thinks it will be more difficult to attract free agents now given the instability that this latest fight has created. That’s potentially a big problem for Arizona as it might need to spend nearly $19 million (based on a $71 million cap) just to reach the floor.