The Phoenix Coyotes are none too pleased with defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson. The 22-year-old defenseman forgot to get his immigration papers in time for training camp and will miss a few days while attempting to sort out the situation.
The result is an unhappy manager in Don Maloney who insinuated some kind of discipline could be used, via NHL.com:
"I'm not happy about it," Maloney said. "It's something that players are required to take care of and (his actions) shows a lack of getting after it. He's always in great shape and he's an important guy. But we have 57 players here and we're supposed to have 58 and there's no excuse for it."
Ekman-Larsson signed a six-year, $33 million contract in March that carries an annual average value of $5.5 million against the salary cap, according to CapGeek.com. So, if Maloney plans on fining Ekman-Larsson, he probably won't have a problem producing the money.
Ultimately, this isn't a huge deal. It's perfectly understandable that Maloney would take the position that he did. He understands that Ekman-Larsson takes care of himself and will likely be in shape when he gets to camp. However, he wants his star players to set a positive example for the rest of the team and Ekman-Larsson should have made sure no obstacle stood between him reporting to camp on time.
The young defenseman led the Coyotes in average ice time last season, recording 25:05 per game. In addition, he produced 24 points (three goals and 21 assists) in 48 games, which was the fifth-most amongst Coyotes' skaters.