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Coyotes' Ekman-Larsson expects changes soon

by Dan Rosen / NHL.com

The fact that Arizona Coyotes general manager Don Maloney said Friday that everybody on the team outside of captain Shane Doan could be available in a trade won't come as a surprise to defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Speaking to NHL.com during 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus, Ekman-Larsson said he expected changes to be made because of the Coyotes' record this season.

Arizona enters play Friday 13th in the Western Conference, 15 points out of a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Edmonton Oilers and Buffalo Sabres are the only teams in the League with fewer wins than Arizona's 17.

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The Coyotes are 29th in goals-against per game (3.27), 27th in penalty kill (76.1 percent), 25th in shots-against per game (32.1), and 26th in goals for per game (2.25). Goalie Mike Smith has a 3.41 goals-against average and .890 save percentage.

"We haven't been successful so obviously change is going to happen," Ekman-Larsson said. "We have a great group of guys but it doesn't mean anything if you don't get the success you're working for. That's where we're at now, so we have to do something about it."

Maloney said on TSN 1200 Radio in Ottawa on Friday that even Ekman-Larsson, the Coyotes' lone All-Star this season who has 23 points and plays a team-high 25:16 per game, is available in a trade.

"Oliver Ekman-Larsson is a player that we would certainly be very, very reluctant to part with," Maloney said, "but as far as I'm concerned when you're sitting with our record, and we're [one of the] three or four worst records in the League, then everybody is up for grabs."

Ekman-Larsson, who was talking long before Maloney made his comments, said he's trying to stay focused on a game-to-game basis, but it's hard when he knows that change is coming and no one is quite sure what will happen.

In particular, Coyotes center Antoine Vermette and defenseman Keith Yandle have been rumored to be on the trading block. Maloney would not comment on any specific players during his radio interview.

"Change is going to happen when you don't get the success you're looking for," Ekman-Larsson said. "We just are going to have to stay focused and do something about it. We can't really focus on what's going to happen."

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