Photo Credit: The Province

Canucks Enter The Dragon’s Den – Part Two

After seeing what a few of the Dragons were willing to offer soon to be free agent Artemi Panarin, the Canucks Army investors take on a new challenge, the Swedish road hockey goalie himself: Alex Edler. The Eagle is set to become a UFA, no not the popular helmet worn by Wayne Gretzky, an unrestricted free agent.

There’s nothing free about it though. One way or another the Canucks will pay – to keep him around or failing to get any assets in return when they had the opportunity.

Alexander Edler has done a lot for the Canucks and has seen this team rise to stardom on multiple occasions. Both the Canucks and Edler would seem to be at a crossroads: do they partner up one more time or is this it for the Swedish Orca? There’s a case to be made for both sides but are the injuries just too much for Vancouver and does Alex Edler want to take less term to stay in the rainy city?

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Edler is coming off an impressive season where he put up 0.61 P/GP, second only to his 2010/11 season where he played five fewer games and put up a 0.65 P/GP. As good as those numbers are, it does speak to how little he’s played. Only once has Edler been healthy for all 82 games and that was the season after the famous Cup run.

His status as the greatest Canucks defender based on records and longevity shouldn’t be discounted but considering this team has never had a true #1 defenseman, his numbers aren’t necessarily elite. Alex is the Canucks all-time defensive leader in goals, points, PPP, hits, blocked shots, giveaways, takeaways, and saves (not a real stat for non-goalies).

It’s a shame Benning wasn’t able to move him at the deadline as Edler’s stock has never really been higher.

The 2019/2020 season will have a lot to offer but on defense, it could come at the expense of players like Edler and possibly Chris Tanev. Vancouver has Quinn Hughes, Troy Stecher, and Ben Hutton to mold their defense around and there could be room for Edler as well but if Olli Juolevi makes a push to make the team as well, would Jim Benning take a leap of faith and trade for a player like PK Subban and maybe a right-handed defender to bolster the PP?

Talk is cheap so let’s see what these Dragons, er, Orcas, let’s stick with Dragons, has to offer #23.

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Chris Faber has been waiting patiently to make an offer to Alex Edler and I think he might move the needle here. Chris, the floor is yours:

Earlier today I drove by the dump and there were 8 eagles perched into of a tall tree. Now I come into this meeting and I see an eagle looking for a contract. How are you Alex? Are you good? Are you healthy?

Are you wanting to be here when we are competitive again? Ok cool, whatever. Here’s the thing, we’re going to try something different this year. We’re not giving out extra years on contracts but what we can do for you is load up the money. We want you to help with the defensive core but things are changing, Quinn Hughes is our power play quarterback now and you can run the second unit. You will play fewer minutes but be more of a leader, so we want to offer you a 2-year deal, 12.5 million dollar contract. That’s right, 6.25 a season.

Here’s a pen. Or have fun in Florida.

Chris, I think you may have to sweeten the deal.

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Entering the den now is Stephan Roget. Will he open the vault or lock Eddie in there?

Alex. Eagle. Eddie Money. What’s this handshake business? Get in here for a hug. We’ve known each other for years–which is why this negotiation is going to be smooth sailing. We want the same things, and we don’t want the same things. Or, as you Swedes would say it, “Knowing me, knowing you, uh-huh.”

Anyway, here’s what we both want. You back in the blue and green. You’re the best defenseman in team history–until Quinn gets a few more years under his belt, anyway–and you’re a Ring of Honour shoe-in. You’ve laid down some powerful roots here, and nobody wants you to leave. We are all Canucks, but you’re just a little bit more Canuckier than most.

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But do you know what we both definitely don’t want? A whole lot of unnecessary heat in 2021. Look, you love the Canuck fans and they love you, but we both know that if you sign the kind of contract that causes us to lose Quinn or Troy or Nikita Tryamkin-back-from-exile to Seattle they’ll literally riot. Neither of us wants to deal with that–and there’s a good chance I’m gone by then anyway, so you’d be the one taking all the hate. These people turned on Trevor Linden, Alex, YOU DO NOT WANT THAT SMOKE.

So, it’s simple. Whatever you sign, it has to expire in 2021. Coincidentally, that’s also the year we need to re-sign Elias, but let’s not get into that. For a two-year deal, you can pretty much name your price. Let
Whoops, that last part should be “Let’s call it two years at $7 million and both walk away happy.”

Feels like Stephan is making an offer that isn’t too steep, it keeps Edler around to mentor Quinn Hughes and knowing he’ll most likely get injured yet again if they keep a seventh defenseman around, that player will crack the lineup sooner than later without rushing in. He upped the dollar amount from Faber’s 6.25 and the term is the same. Tough call.


Next up, Cole Marton. A quick talking, straight-shooter. Nothing gets by him, almost like Edler’s goaltending. What does Cole have to offer Alex?

Yo, Eddie, we gotta have a chat.

Look, you’re a wonderful defenceman. We all get that, but you gotta look big picture here. We’re trying to build something that’ll help EVERYONE. We can’t go around giving out long term deals like crazy.

Also, the fans need a reason to love the eagle again. So, how about this. I’m going to offer you a 2 year deal for 6.5M because of how much you’ve done for us. Can’t give you more than that. You get to stay in Vancouver, the fans will thank you for taking the shorter term, and you can keep doing your thing.

Well Cole, with Stephan offering half a million more, it’s unlikely he’ll partner up with you as the GM. Then again, maybe that hometown discount will come in handy?

That seems to be it for offers for the Swedish blueliner. Will Edler bite at any of the three contracts or is he planning on joining Roberto Luongo in Florida? Or Victor Hedman in Tampa Bay?

July 1st is getting closer and the pressure to sign is building. One does have to wonder, if Edler was going to come back to Vancouver, wouldn’t that deal have been signed by now?


    • MM

      I think the magic date is the 2nd year. So NMC for year one would be okay, and then NTC max on the next two or you have to protect him for Seattle. Not that i’m condoning either or the term. just saying.

  • El Kabong

    I don’t think the big hang up here is money but a NTC or NMC which we just can’t give him. 2 years @ 6M without any clauses and I’m in otherwise it’s just time to move on.

  • Gino über alles

    These sound like the best offers I’ve heard yet, the Canucks have loads of room to pay as necessary and buying mentorship alone is worth it’s weight in gold. We don’t want Hughes learning the ropes from Hutton and Stecher, especially if Tanev isn’t here for much longer and we can’t/don’t keep Schenn around.

    Make it worth his while, he’s taken a serious discount to stay here in the past and keep that in mind when signing him. It has to be a deal that doesn’t expose us in the expansion draft so 2 years of up to 7m a year works well, there’s no question he’s earned it and it still leaves us in great position to consider preying on other teams that get caught in the same trap that happened when Vegas entered the league.

  • Kanuckhotep

    No matter what happens the Canucks should not be in a position to have to protect Edler at the time of the Seattle draft. Shorter term bigger coin seems reasonable. in the 3rd year if there is one for Eddie should not contain a NTC/NMC.

  • neal

    Edler is getting older and injury prone. Two year contract at 4.5 per year that is the top. I loved the Sedins but stated in past comments Vancouver would not move forward until they retire. Much the same can be said for Edler.

  • wojohowitz

    The problem is obvious. They got no quality and no depth. They really need Edler in the worst way. Who else will eat the 25 minutes a game? Tanev is good for 40 games. Stecher is an injury waiting to happen as he is targeted as small. Hutton is marshmallow soft. Biega and Schenn are both good for 40 games. Let`s pencil in Hughes and Juolevi as the rookies who will lead the team in icetime and PP. Yeah they`ll be fine without Edler.

  • Bud Poile

    He has been their best D man and they need him for a few more years as the young D mature. With that said we all know D men can regress rapidly in and around this age.
    I just hope he doesn’t handcuff the process and takes his reward in cash and a healthy two year deal.
    He may wish to retire as a Canuck and he’ll have 15 years and a storied career in the books.

  • TD

    I think they have to protect NMC but not NTC. I’m okay with a rich 2 year deal or a cheaper 3 year deal as long as he can be exposed at the expansion draft. With his injury history, anything longer than 3 years is insane.

  • kablebike

    Edler is 33 now and most of next season. 3 years can be done with 2 years NTC with a reduced movement list in year 3. Sorry…I am not sure of the whole Seattle getting a team and rink in time shenanigans.