Coyotes opening up GM search, with Ekman-Larsson’s future a story to watch

Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman discuss the latest news around the NHL, including the tweet sent by Marc-Andre Fleury's agent, what the Arizona Coyotes do with their team, and how the St. Louis Blues can keep Alex Pietrangelo.

The Arizona Coyotes will be looking to turn the page on a disappointing end to their season and are expected to have a busy off-season.

As Sportsnet‘s Elliotte Friedman reported during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, the Coyotes plan to open up the search for their general manager position.

“Arizona is going to open up the search and they’re going to interview some people there and see what they want to do now,” Friedman said.

Steve Sullivan currently serves as the team’s interim general manager, assuming the role after John Chayka quit as GM and president of hockey operations back in July. If the team decides not to retain Sullivan, the former NHL forward likely wouldn’t be out of work long, according to Friedman.

“I’ve heard that there are other teams interested in Sullivan to join their front offices, if he’s not going to be the long-term solution or if he would prefer to go elsewhere,” Friedman explained. “He’s got options from what I understand.”

On top of the uncertainty in the front office, another story to watch could be the future of captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

“I don’t have 100 per cent clarity on this right now but I think one of the storylines that is going to be interesting to watch there with the Coyotes in the off-season is the future of Oliver Ekman-Larson,” Friedman reported. “He’s their captain, he’s signed to a long-term deal, he’s got seven years left, he’s got a no-move clause. It could come down to what ownership wants to do, what the new GM thinks to do. I’ve just been told it’s a story to keep an eye on.”

Ekman-Larsson finished the first year of an eight-year contract extension with an average annual value of $8.25 million. In 66 games this season, the 29-year-old had nine goals and 30 points while adding four points in nine post-season games.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.