The Vancouver Canucks had some big news for fans on Friday night, announcing the contract extension of blue-liner Alex Edler for another 6 years with a reported cap hit of $5 million a season.
Making a change from the standard, the news was released via the official Twitter account of Canucks GM Mike Gillis and not through the account of a member of the media or any Hockey “Insiderr”.
I’d like to congratulate Alex Edler on agreeing to terms on a new multi-year deal. Details to follow.
The 26 year-old Swede enjoyed a career-high season points tally last campaign, registering 11 goals and 38 assists, ending with 49 regular season points. In the past four years since the 2008/9 season, Edler has averaged 40.25 points a season.
The offensive defenceman was set to become a free agent in the summer of 2013 and was expected to be offered big money from rival teams, being one of the most sought-after defenceman with an expiring contract.
Through this signing, Mike Gillis and the Canucks broke their self-imposed and unwritten re-signing “under $4.6 million” rule for defenceman, with both Kevin Bieksa and newly acquired former Panther Jason Garrison earning $4.6 million and Dan Hamhuis slightly less at $4.5 million.
The only question mark regarding the long-term extension of Edler may be on his history of injuries. In the past few years, he has suffered a left arm injury, a right ankle injury, two broken fingers during the Boston Stanley Cup final series and pain through a bulging disc in his back.
Despite his history of injuries, the long-term signing of Edler who moves into the his prime hockey years for a cap hit of only $5 million a season can be seen as a steal for the Canucks. The player has seemingly followed in the footsteps of many of his Vancouver colleagues, taking a home-town discount to keep the team within the salary cap and competitive for years to come.
The Vancouver Canucks also released their final 23 man roster for the start of the regular season Friday;
- Henrik Sedin
- Daniel Sedin
- Alex Burrows
- Andrew Ebbett
- Mason Raymond
- Zack Kassian
- Chris Higgins
- Maxim Lapierre
- Jannik Hansen
- Aaron Volpatti
- Manny Malhotra
- Dale Weise
- Andrew Alberts
- Keith Ballard
- Cam Barker
- Jim Vandermeer
- Chris Tanev
- Dan Hamhuis
- Kevin Bieksa
- Jason Garrison
- Alex Edler
- Cory Schneider
- Roberto Luongo
Despite having 9 defencemen in the 23 man roster, the unlucky number 24 missing out on a spot for opening night was rookie forward Jordan Schroeder.
The 22 year-old was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NHL entry draft and despite a great showing alongside hat-trick hero Mason Raymond in Thursday’s scrimmage, was re-assigned to the AHL Chicago Wolves with Alain Vigneault telling the Vancouver Sun:
“There is not just the on-ice component that’s going to go into the decision, There are (salary) cap dynamics.”
The second line centre spot is now expected to be handed to Andrew Ebbett, who will take Ryan Kesler’s place short-term until the star forward recovers fully from off-season surgery. The decision to demote Schroeder was made easier for the Canucks as he, unlike most of his team-mates, does not need to clear waivers to return to the AHL.
The Canucks play their first game of the season against the Anaheim Ducks at 7 pm PST on Saturday, January 19th.
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