After weeks of speculation, the Vancouver Canucks and Alexander Edler have finally agreed to a new contract. The veteran defenseman has re-signed with the Canucks on a two-year contract worth $6 million per season.
GM Jim Benning released a statement on the signing:
Alex is important to our team and has played as the cornerstone of our defence throughout his career. He’s a leader with tremendous experience, plays important minutes and contributes to every part of our team game. We’re very pleased for Alex and his family that he’ll continue his career as a Vancouver Canuck.
The Edler Deal Everyone Saw Coming
Early on, there was potential Edler might leave the Canucks but the widespread belief was that he never wanted to leave Vancouver. Edler was reported to have shot down a potential trade at last season’s NHL Trade Deadline and it was speculated he’d be back with the team. The hurdle was ironing out how to keep him in Vancouver throughout the two-year term.
We had reported earlier this morning that, according to Iain MacIntyre, the Vancouver Canucks knew they were close on a deal but were likely expected to announce the extension at the NHL Entry Draft on Friday. The draft takes place from Vancouver and the news would have come as a treat for hometown fans when the Canucks hit the podium to make their first-round selection.
Instead, it appears the Canucks chose to announce now and leave the rest of the spotlight on whomever they choose to draft at No. 10 overall.
Edler to Finish Things Up in Vancouver?
Edler, who was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, has played 13 NHL seasons, all with the Canucks. He holds the franchise’s scoring lead on defense with 368 points in 814 games.
Now 33 years old, these final two seasons could be his last in the NHL. It was important to Edler he spends them in Vancouver.
The $6 million deal signed with the team on Thursday can’t be seen as a discount for the Canucks. At the same time, it’s not a loss either. Edler still has value in the NHL and to have him back on the blue line where the team needed the help is important to any potential the Canucks will be competitive this season.
More Coming From Vancouver?
The Canucks may not be done. Other reports, like one from Jason Brough suggests that outside of the Edler deal, the Canucks migt be contemplating going after Jake Gardiner and Tyler Myers. The belief is that the team wants to make a significant change to their blue line.
With the Edler signing, it’s hard to know if those plans have now changed.
So too, Nick Kypreos says says the Canucks are working on a deal to re-sign. Brock Boeser. That deal could come in at as many as five years at around $7 million a season.
Jim Parsons is a freelance writer who covers the Edmonton Oilers and news and rumors posts here at The Hockey Writers.
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