The Vancouver Canucks may have to expedite their rebuilding plan as Vancouver Sun’s Jeff Paterson suggests with the recent success of Team Sweden in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships, veteran defenseman Alexander Edler may re-consider his position in Vancouver. The success of Sweden over the past two weeks and most recently today when they captured the gold medal, may have given the defenseman a will to compete for a Stanley Cup rather than languish with the Canucks who are not anywhere near that level.
Edler, who has spent his entire career in Vancouver, has two years left at $5MM, and at 31 years old, this may be the best time to move on. He finished the season with six goals and 15 assists in 68 games this past season. Paterson writes that Edler must see the success of some of his former teammates such as Ryan Kesler and Kevin Bieksa in Anaheim as well as Alexandre Burrows in Ottawa. And with many teams need for a top-four defenseman, there should be plenty of trade interest if Edler wishes it.
The veteran blueliner does have a No Movement Clause, but that would only benefit Edler as he can have a say to which team he could get traded to. On top of that, with two years left on his contract, any team that trades for him would get him for two post-season runs. Paterson compares Edler to that of Dion Phaneuf in Ottawa, who took a role as a second-line defenseman there and has thrived for the Senators. The same could hold true for Edler.
A trade like this could also be beneficial to the Canucks. While they would likely net a good haul for the defensive-minded blueliner, the team would also open up a spot on their protection roster for the upcoming expansion draft and free up cap space to further enhance their rebuilding process.