Free Agency: Should the St. Louis Blues consider Oliver Ekman-Larsson?

The St. Louis Blues have limited cap space but enough to sign a quality player. The majority of their weaknesses lie in the defensive unit. Should the Blues target a recent 2024 Cup winner?
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Five
2024 Stanley Cup Final - Game Five / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, the longtime Arizona Coyotes captain, is coming off a championship win as a member of the Florida Panthers.

At 32 years old, Ekman-Larsson has the veteran leadership of an ideal defenseman and plenty of talent.

In an entire season of play with the Florida Panthers, Ekman-Larsson played pretty well.

Florida Panthers

2023-24: 80 games, 9 goals, 23 assists, 32 points, 18:23 TOI.

He’s one of many free-agents from Florida, joining fellow defenseman Brandon Montour with an expiring contract.

Most hockey pundits predict that Montour is set to depart Florida for a heavy payday. If this occurs, expect Florida to sign Ekman-Larsson as his replacement for the next few seasons.

Regardless, there is still a possibility to pursue Ekman-Larsson. His 2023-24 contract paid him $2.25 million for a one-year deal. These numbers are reasonable and something the Blues could match or even beat.

Ekman-Larsson eventually stole some ice time from Montour in the Stanley Cup Finals, notably on power-play attempts.

His presence was known, particularly in the last two games.

St. Louis Blues: Could Ekman-Larsson fill gaps for a struggling defensive unit?

The St. Louis Blues don’t have the dominant roster as the Panthers do, so if Ekman-Larsson is seeking an elite team right now, he may not even consider the Blues.

However, the Blues are good enough to make the playoffs, and with the right players, they can fill voids and make some noise in the postseason. Most fans acknowledge the major weaknesses of the current Blues team are found within the defensive unit.

Ekman-Larsson is a legitimate option to not only fill in gaps defensively for the Blues but also to bring a veteran presence within the locker room.

While it may be a stretch, Ekman-Larsson is a defenseman that GM Doug Armstrong should definitely have on his radar.