Montreal Canadiens general manager Lars Ellingers decision to not re-sign defenceman Lars Eriksson, who signed a two-year contract extension in February, has led to speculation the club is looking to trade him.
Eller is the Canadiens top free agent after signing a two year extension in March.
He is the club’s top free agents this summer.
“We want to continue to build this team,” Eller said in a statement released on Monday.
“We are in a position to do that, but the key is we are working hard to build the team.
We need players that can contribute and contribute a lot, and Lars has proven he can do that.”
Eriksson is under contract with the Canadiens through the 2019-20 season.
He was originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the first round (No. 6 overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
Eriksons contract runs through 2021-22 and expires after the 2021-23 season.
The contract included a $4.75 million cap hit for the remainder of his contract.
Ellers signing the extension and subsequent free agency signings for forwards Michael Ryder and Matt Duchene were the two signings the Canadiens have made to fill out their blue line.
Ryder, a 26-year-old forward, was a third-round pick by the Canadiens in 2016.
Duchene, 26, was drafted in the fourth round (107th overall) by the New York Islanders in 2017.