Coyotes closing in on an extension for Ekman-Larsson

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Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) pauses on the ice during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks Sunday, March 11, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (Source: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Arizona Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson (23) pauses on the ice during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Vancouver Canucks Sunday, March 11, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (Source: AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

While Cardinals star running back David Johnson's absence from minicamp due to a contract negotiation has Valley sports fans talking, the Coyotes are quietly working to lock down one of the faces of their franchise.

Arizona's Family has learned the Coyotes are optimistic that All-Star defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson will sign an eight-year extension with the team.

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The deal can't be announced until July 1. There are reports that the deal is worth $64 million

The 26-year-old's contract wasn't set to expire until 2019. This haults any talk of a trade and makes a statement to the team and fan base.

Ekman-Larrson spoke with Arizona's Family before heading home to Sweden for the summer. 

[RELATED: Despite missing playoffs again, optimism abounds on Coyotes 'exit day' in Glendale]

He recently helped his home country win a World Championship at had some fun wearing hockey equipment from the 80s.

The Coyotes will report to training camp in mid-September.

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