Trading Alex Edler: Who to Target (Part II)

Eberle/Oshie – Wikimedia commons

On Thursday, we looked at two potential trade targets should the Canucks choose to shop skilled defenseman Alex Edler. Let’s look at a few more today.

Before we begin, though, I wanted to get to a few more things about trading (or not trading) Edler.

As I mentioned on Thursday, his name is only surfacing in speculation because he seems to be the only core player with great trade value (and the only one that could be realistically traded). You don’t move players like Edler for the sake of it – he’s a proven top pairing defenseman with a lot of great qualities.

There were some great comments after my Thursday column was published.

From Rob:

In my opinion Edler’s regression had a lot to do with AV. When you have a defenseman who has the potential of Edler you do not ask him to change his game to play to a system, a coach should build his system around that player. AV was so stubborn that over the last two seasons he refused to change to suit Edler’s needs and he forced Edler to play on his off-side in a system that did not suit his game. Over the last 5 seasons and 329 games Edler has accumulated 43 goals and 189 points, if he has a coach that is willing to help him clean up the defensive aspects of his game or put him in a system where his defensive errors can be avoided he could easily be one of the top 20 defencemen in the league.

Interesting points, Rob, and I don’t really disagree with any of them. Jason Botchford tweeted this on Tuesday as well:

Botchford has good connections to the team and has a generally good read on what they are thinking of doing. I just don’t see how they can significantly improve the offense without moving Edler. What other assets have value? Cap space is very limited, even with Laurence Gilman working his magic behind the scenes.

From David:

Any thoughts on a match with the Oilers? Management has said a bold move is needed and they have a plethora of young scorers and are in need of a top 4 D and a goalie. I know the whole rivalry thing is in play but they make sense as trade partners to me.

Stay tuned….

From Pierce:

As a Flyers fan, I will not be happy if they trade away Couturier.

I think most Flyer fans would echo this sentiment – but does Paul Holmgren?

Here are two more players that could be targeted should Edler become available.

TJ Oshie (or Patrik Berglund or Chris Stewart) – St. Louis Blues


Oshie isn’t a pure sniper or offensive scorer, but he is a very, very good two-way hockey player. The Blues boast incredible depth up front, and they need to clear some more room for Jaden Schwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko, and Ty Rattie in the next year or two. Oshie is one of their better forwards and they would probably trade Patrik Berglund, Chris Stewart, or David Perron ahead of him, but Edler is worth more than any of those three players I think.

On the back end, the Blues need to find another top-four defenseman to replace Jordan Leopold (assuming he doesn’t re-sign). How mobile would a core of Jay Bouwmeester, Edler, Alex Pietrangelo, and Kevin Shattenkirk be? And all four of them are over 6-2 and 200 pounds.

I’m not sure St. Louis would be willing to take on Edler’s contract – he’s not overpaid, but they have a lot of money tied up to Bouwmeester for next season and several of their key RFAs need new deals. This is more of a long shot trade target.

Is he available?

Probably not, as he is a key component of the Blues attack and the Blues are somewhat thin on the backend. Oshie’s career high is only 19 goals and 54 points, but he does so much more than just score and pass. He’s physical, tenacious, and solid defensively, too. He’s also a local kid (from just over the border in Washington) if you are into that sort of thing.

The Blues could move Oshie and still find a way to construct three or four balanced lines up front, though. Steen, Berglund, Backes, Tarasenko, Schwartz, Stewart, Sobotka, Rattie, Perron – lots of depth, size, and skill.

Vancouver would probably need more value to sweeten the pot if they were to move Edler for Oshie. The Blues traded their 1st for Bouwmeester, but they do have some interesting young assets in the organization. Oshie is a somewhat similar player to David Booth, which may create a bit of redundancy in Vancouver’s top six/nine. The team may be more inclined to target Berglund (a big and strong two-way center with consistency issues) or Stewart (a strong power forward with a sniper’s touch).

The Edmonton Oilers


No, not the entire team.

The Oilers need defensive help, badly, and Edler would immediately become their top defenseman. He’s locked up for a while, and he’s still relatively young. If Edmonton and Vancouver weren’t Pacific Division (heyo!) rivals, this trade would probably make the most sense from a “needs” perspective. It would also allow Justin Schultz to share the offensive burden with another defenseman.

Edmonton GM Craig MacTavish worked for a year in the Canucks organization, so he likely has an idea of how they value players (and he probably has a good read on most of the organization’s assets, too).

Who would be available?

Off limits – Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Taylor Hall. I think the Oilers would move Nail Yakupov for the right price (see: more than Edler). Jordan Eberle could be moved, but he makes a million more than Edler, so no cap savings there.

Vancouver would probably love to create some type of cap savings in this potential trade. Sam Gagner? He’s a gritty two-way center with a lot of attributes the Canucks could use in their top nine. Magnus Paajarvi? Perhaps as part of a larger package trade?

Would the Canucks move Edler for Eberle? Would Edmonton? Would the trade make Vancouver significantly better? I think it would improve Edmonton’s team considerably – no slight to Eberle, but a two-way puck mover like Edler would be exactly what the doctor ordered (or has been trying to order for years) for the Oilers. Would the Canucks move Edler for Gagner and Paajarvi? Generally, the team receiving the best player in a trade wins the deal, so this probably isn’t one that would interest Mike Gillis a whole lot.

Still, some food for thought. Unless the Canucks can hit a home run trade, they can’t afford to deal Edler. But how will they otherwise add offense to a somewhat impotent group?


Also – I recently published my second annual Top 50 NHL Trade Value Rankings. No Oshie or Eberle (or Edler) on there, but one Blue and a few Oilers made the grade. Check it out here (warning, it is a long read).

Previous Posts from Jeff:

  • Fred-65

    Can the Canucks go into next season with no major changes? Not a chance and nothing much coming up in the system. GM MG is going to have to get aggressive on the trade front & take some risks. But it seems every time it’s suggested he move a core piece, an ‘insider’ says it won’t happen. Sounds a lot like the Calgary Flames experience since ’06. Please say it isn’t so…

  • khlhfs

    I feel for Canucks fans because it is going to be a very long and boring summer. The canucks cup window has closed but they are still too good to break it up. Combine that with their cap situation and basically having nothing on the farm and all they can really do for the next year is stay the course until the 2014-2015 season when they will have some cap relief.

  • khlhfs

    The other asset is Schneider.

    I think the chance of Edler being traded is a good as Schneider.

    I wonder if Philly makes sense for Kesler? For Couterier plus?

    Would the Canucks trade their first to ST. Louis for the rights to sign Bergland or Chris Stewart?

  • Fred-65

    The Flyers and the Canucks are much in the same position. Both up against the Cap limit both have defiencies they need to fill. Is Couturier at the same place in his development that a young Kesler was ? The problem will be Philly needs to unload Cap space as well it has to be dollar for dollar.

    The first clue will be if Bryzgalov is bought out

  • VC

    I still believe that it is in our best interests to make a trade where we make a trade such as: Lu and Edler to Philly for Couturier/Pick or Prospect/Bryz, then use the compliance buy out on Bryz and cast him off to get our cap space down. Notice, I did say “such as”, the value has to make sense.

  • VC

    to the guy who commented that EDM needs a goalie, I hope you’re referring to a backup as Dubey just had a .921 facing 32.8 shots a game. Starting goalie is not the problem.

    Edler for Eberle? I think EDM needs to keep more pucks out of their own net than put more in the other teams. Edler isn’t exactly the ideal guy as his D game isn’t that good.

  • VC

    While I’m not against trading Alex Edler, it seems every solution to fix the Canucks’ offensive woes is robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Edler is the Canucks’ best offensive defenseman. I’m not exactly sure a top 4 of Hammer/Bieksa & Garrrison/Tanev is going to be good at getting the puck up the ice. And I certainly don’t like that top 4 in comparison to the better defensive groups in the West like St Louis & LA.

    The Canucks don’t have good prospects. The Canucks don’t have an NHL defenseman ready to step up for Edler. Nobody outside of Vancouver thinks Tanev is capable of playing 22 minutes a game. If he manages to be a quality top 4 defenseman, he will be shattering the odds.

    The one area the Canucks can afford to “deplete” is goaltending. The Canucks have two good goalies. But only one has good trade value.

    Sadly, it looks like Luongo is going to be given away much like Hodgson, Grabner and the numerous draft picks wasted to acquire Bernier, Alberts, Ballard & Roy.

    Quite frankly, I don’t trust Gillis to orchestrate an Edler trade that benefits the Canucks.

  • VC

    It truly amazes me how people are so ready to offload Edler. Get Ballard and Luongo off the books, and work from there. The Canucks really don’t need to move a great chip like Edler so quickly.

  • VC

    It does not make sense for the Canucks to move Edler – their best offensive defenseman – when there is a good possibility that under a new coach and new system, Edler could reach his potential. However, since we are talking the possibility of a trade, if the Canucks are seriously looking at moving their best offensive defenseman the trade must provide immediate offensive help in the forward group. To me the Canucks have 2 major needs – a 3rd line center that has enough offensive upside to become the team’s #1 or #2 center in the next 2 to 4 years and/or a young(ish) scoring winger for the 1st or 2nd line. It would be preferable if the deal removed salary from the books but if the target player can produce immediately then a dollar for dollar trade makes sense. The trade cannot be for a reclamation project, proven NHL players must be coming back. It seems lately that NHL GM’s want a big game-changing piece but aren’t willing to pay for it. The key to moving Elder (if the Canucks are even entertaining that notion) is finding a GM who is willing to make an honest hockey trade.

  • Pizzy

    HAHAHA, OMG, You Canuck fans are so dilusional! Edler for Eberle??? Are you serious? You probably think you can get Crosby for Burrows! Eberle is a future Star in the league. LOL. LOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!

    And Jeff.. “Sam Gagner? He’s a gritty two-way center with a lot of attributes the Canucks could use in their top nine.”

    Gritty two way Center????? What have you been watching?

    • Pizzy

      No kidding !. I would not trade Eberle for the two Sisters, never mind Edler. I would trade For Elder, but it would be more like Gagner or Paajarvi at best. Gagner might even be to rich of a deal.

      Gillis got more cap issues than he can deal with.
      Might have as Big Lou to take off the pads, and
      play on the forward line.

  • 106 and 106

    I wouldn’t trade Edler if I were you. Yes, you may be thinking I’m crazy, but seriously, Edler can improve. He just needs more development. Give him a chance. Also, trading the Sedins is not necessary because they are part of our good linesmen and removing them will result in a decrease in strong lines. They help us a lot, why trade them. Do you want us to lose? Well… get the heck out of here!