The Los Angeles Kings are bringing back a valuable veteran defenseman. Alexander Edler has signed a one-year, league-minimum $750,000 extension to stay in Southern California, per the team. The 35+ contract also has the potential to earn Edler an additional $750,000 in games played bonuses. Per PuckPedia, the contract also includes a no-movement clause.
Edler, 36, spent his first NHL season outside of the Vancouver Canucks organization in 2021-22. His first season went well with the Kings in a reduced role, helping guide a youthful defense to strong play en route to the team’s first playoff appearance since 2018. He finished the season with three goals, 16 assists, 19 points, and a +18 rating in just 41 games due to injury. He did average just 18:28 per game, his first time averaging under 20 minutes per game as a full-time NHL player.
Another season for Edler puts him within striking distance of the 1,000 games played mark. Currently sitting at 966, the Swedish defenseman will need to suit up at least 34 times for the Kings in the regular season to hit the milestone. It’s a signifier of how impressive Edler’s career has been, and while it may be nearing its end, he’s a stellar model of leadership and consistency for the younger Kings to emulate.
With that quickly-improving young defense, though, the news likely means the Kings won’t be active on the free-agent defense market. With Michael Anderson, Sean Durzi, and Tobias Bjornfot earning NHL spots moving forward (just to name a few), and Sean Walker returning from a season-long injury absence, there aren’t any more spots available barring a trade.
The surging Kings are also beginning to push against the salary cap. With just over $3.5MM in projected space left according to CapFriendly, and Anderson and Durzi needing new contracts, don’t expect the team to make many more waves after Edler’s extension.