The 31-year-old defender will be able to sign with any team as an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Ekman-Larsson signed an eight-year, $66 million contract (average annual value $8.25 million) with the Arizona Coyotes on July 1, 2018; Traded to the Canucks on July 23, 2021.
“We want to thank Oliver for his time in Vancouver,” said Canucks general manager Patrick Alvin. “The hockey industry is very complex and tough decisions have to be made if you want to stay competitive. Buying Oliver gives us more flexibility and a lot of space over the next two years and significantly reduces his impact in subsequent seasons. He predicts that after this year the cap will also increase, which will Makes it a good time to make that acquisition.
“Our organization is committed to doing whatever it needs to do to improve and improve on and off the ice and move forward in a positive direction.”
NHL teams are allowed to purchase a player contract for a salary cap of up to twice the remaining term of the contract. With $29 million remaining on the Ekman-Larsson contract, the acquisition spans eight years, at a cost of $19,333,333 and a savings of $9,666,667. If the Canucks had kept Aikman Larson, he would have paid out a total of $18.5 million over the next two years alone.
Aikman-Larson has 22 points (2 goals, 20 assists) in 54 games this season, his fewest since he scored 11 as a junior with the Coyotes in 2010-11. His ice time of 20:11 per game was also his lowest since 2010-11. In two seasons with the Canucks, he had 51 points (seven goals, 44 assists) in 133 games.
Selected by the Coyotes in the first round (No. 6) of the 2009 NHL Draft, Ekman-Larson had 439 points (135 goals, 304 assists) in 902 regular season games with the Canucks and Coyotes, eight points (two goals), six assists) in 25 Stanley Cup playoff games.
Aikman Larsson led the Coyotes for three seasons (2018-21).
Vancouver (38-37-7) finished sixth in the Pacific Division this season and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the third straight season.