Maple Leafs miss out on high-profile target before landing Ekman-Larsson

Tom Banks
July 3, 2024  (9:21)

Oliver Ekman-Larsson, now of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

The Toronto Maple Leafs have made some huge signings in the off-season thus far, and before Oliver Ekman-Larsson, they almost nabbed another huge name.

After a disappointing exit from the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving had plenty of work to do heading into a crucial off-season. Now, he's started strong with the signings of Chris Tanev, Anthony Stolarz, Jani Hakanpaa and Oliver Ekman-Larsson, but it was almost another high profile name before pivoting to OEL.
According to James Mirtle of The Athletic, the team were on the brink of landing Matt Roy from the Los Angeles Kings before he ultimately chose the Washington Capitals in free agency.
Unsurprisingly, given the poor play leading up to a solid year with the Florida Panthers, Maple Leafs fans aren't taking the latest news too well.
mirtle on the leaf report says the leafs were really, really close to getting matt roy (would've been instead of OEL) and i'm going to turn into the joker

Roy ultimately inked the deal with Washington at just under $6 million AAV, and according to the report, the team were put off by that number, opting to go with the cheaper, yet more unreliable option in Ekman-Larsson.
"If it doesn't look bad in Year 1, it'll certainly look bad in Year 2 or Year 3... Ekman-Larsson is not gonna be easy to disappear and I would be concerned that they're going to play him higher in the lineup than the third pair and we know what that looks like because it didn't work in Vancouver. That's the really problematic deal for me and I think it happened because they got close on some other names and backed away over where the price was going and I wondered if they could have spent that money somewhere else."

It will take some time to know if this gamble will pay off for the Maple Leafs, but as of right now, their blue line could have looked much better with Roy, so Treliving and the front office will be praying they get 2023-24 OEL rather than his two year stint in Vancouver.
Source: Maple Leafs Daily
Maple Leafs swung and missed on high-profile target before signing Ekman-Larsson
Maple Leafs miss out on high-profile target before landing Ekman-Larsson

Will Oliver Ekman-Larsson work out as a positive signing for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Yes54984.3 %
No10215.7 %
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