There was one glaring issue when it came to the Boston Bruins in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Boston’s blue line was exposed for its lack of depth.
While the Bruins did have a large number of injuries, they struggled in their own zone. Boston found it difficult to get the puck out of their own zone and the New York Islanders took advantage.
If Boston wants to get back to the Stanley Cup Finals, they need to improve. Just having Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk won’t get the job done. That’s why the latest news on Oliver Ekman-Larsson should be music to the ears of Bruins fans.
Sportsnet’s Elliot Friedman talked about the idea of Ekman-Larsson being traded in his “31 Thoughts” podcast saying that it sounds like a trade will happen.
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The Bruins were linked to OEL in the past with the lefty saying that he wanted to go to either Boston or Vancouver, but nothing happened in 2021. After a disappointing exit in the second round, things may have changed.
Why the Boston Bruins should trade for Oliver Ekman-Larsson
Now let’s get the cons out of the way first. Ekman-Larsson has a rather large and costly contract that will take him until he is well into his 30’s. Also, OEL didn’t have the best season in 2021. Last season he appeared in 46 games scoring three goals and 21 assists. The biggest problem being Ekman-Larsson’s plus-minus of -17.
But there’s more to these numbers. The Coyotes were a sub .500 team that is struggling to stay afloat.
If OEL was to come to Boston he would join a Stanley Cup contender. Similar to Taylor Hall, Bruins fans should expect to see a much better performance from the defenseman.
Also with Tuukka Rask and David Krejci off the books, Boston has plenty of money to spend. They can afford to take on a bad contract and with how desperate Arizona seems to be regarding Ekman-Larsson, the Bruins might even be able to get the ‘Yotes to eat up some of the cap hit.
Cam Neely has said that he wants to get a left-shot defenseman and the two sides have been linked in the past. It seems to be as close as you can get to a perfect match.
Ekman-Larsson has been able to put up some great numbers in his career. In the 2015-16 season, he tallied 21 goals and a career-high 34 assists.
While it remains to be seen if Boston could get a similar output from OEL, but if the Bruins were able to acquire the 29-year-old, he should have a better season than he had in 2021.
So Boston should make a move for Ekman-Larsson this offseason. With the success of the Hall trade, a similar outcome with OEL could mean that the Bruins lift the Stanley Cup in 2022.