With an annual salary of almost SEK 76 million, Oliver Ekman-Larsson is the third highest paid in the Vancouver Canucks.

But you couldn't believe that if you looked at the performances on the ice recently, when Ekman-Larsson, for example, was noted for the less flattering plus/minus statistic -5 in the last two games.

Is assistant team captain

The 31-year-old Swede's performances have even been so weak that last night coach Bruce Boudreau made an extremely remarkable decision: To poke Ekman-Larsson, who is one of the team's assistant team captains.

- I think he can play better than he has done lately, but I think many of our guys can.

This is something you don't want to do.

He's maybe one of our best backs, but sometimes you just have to do what you think is best for the team at a given moment, Boudreau said, according to the AP news agency.

4,307 days since the last poke

According to Sportsnet, it was the first time since March 29, 2011, during Ekman-Larsson's rookie season in Phoenix, that Oliver Ekman-Larsson was healthy and available for play that he was poked in an NHL game.

Between these two occasions there were 4,307 days.

But the poke did not have the desired effect.

Vancouver lost the road game against Tampa Bay 4–5.

The last goal of the game was scored by Elias Pettersson (who also had an assist in the game) with a heavy direct shot with just over two minutes left to play, but Vancouver got no closer than the 4-5 goal.

- There were certain parts of the match where we made costly mistakes.

"We made a good effort at the end of the third to tie it, but it was a little too late," forward Tyler Myers said.