The Vancouver Canucks have had an interesting start to the year, with impressive performances from rookie Elias Pettersson but bad losses at the hands of the Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes. The team has allowed 14 goals in three games, and is busy shaking up their blue line to try to find answers. One player that won’t be taken out of the lineup because of his play is Alexander Edler, but there might be a break-up coming down the line anyway. Edler is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, but has made it clear he wants to spend the rest of his career in Vancouver.
Still, as Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet points out in his latest 31 Thoughts column, Edler would be an attractive rental piece at the trade deadline for a contender. The 32-year old defenseman is averaging more than 25 minutes of ice time through the first three games and is coming off his most effective offensive season in some time. Friedman notes that the Tampa Bay Lightning has shown interest in the left-hander before, and that “someone” will again even if he’s determined to return to the Canucks in 2019-20.
- The Montreal Canadiens will face a tough decision in the coming days, as Eric Engels of Sportsnet writes that the team will likely put either Jacob de La Rose or Nikita Scherbak on waivers once the former is back to full health. Both high draft selections, neither player has really found much consistency in the NHL and even their youth can’t get them into the current lineup. Engels believes that both would be prime targets for a waiver claim, given that they still hold some substantial potential. There are obviously other ways out of the roster crunch, but if it does come down to a waiver placement and attempted minor league assignment, the Canadiens could find themselves losing some of their forward depth for nothing in the coming days.
- Ryan Kesler was on the ice at the Anaheim Ducks morning skate, and even took line rushes between Andrew Cogliano and Kiefer Sherwood according to Josh Cooper of The Athletic. The veteran forward was not expected to return so soon, and head coach Randy Carlyle wouldn’t even confirm that he’ll be in the lineup tonight against the Arizona Coyotes. If he is back to health it’s at the perfect time as the Ducks are without Ryan Getzlaf and are struggling to find much offense up front. An expected Stanley Cup contender, the Ducks have been ravaged by injuries early and could use some good news on that front.