One of the major factors for how this summer will work for the Canucks is the unrestricted free agency of defenceman Alex Edler.
According to Brian Burke during a radio hit on Sportsnet 650, Canucks management and the player is still far apart in contract extension discussions.
"He is looking for a three year deal and the Canucks won't do it."@Burkie2020 on Alex Edler.
— Sportsnet 650 (@Sportsnet650) June 13, 2019
“My guess is, and the whispers are, that he’s looking for a three-year deal and Vancouver won’t do it. But I don’t think July 1 is going to get him a three-year deal — I like the player immensely but I wouldn’t give him three years.
“I think it’s a money issue, I think it’s a term issue, I think it’s an expansion issue, and I think what the player is asking for here is not reasonable in light of his injury history.”
Burke has heard some things, whether or not they have some root in the truth, it is still a likely scenario. The 33-year-old blue liner is in his last summer as a free agent before his career in the NHL is over, looking for more term makes sense.
A three-year contract would mean that this new deal would count as a 35+ contract, resulting in the Canucks being responsible for the entire cap hit during the length of the extension. Not ideal and the likely cause for Vancouver being hesitant to discuss a new contract with that length.
It’s not only the term either, Burke mentions the dollar value being an issue, as well as the upcoming Seattle expansion draft. The amount of cap makes sense, the Canucks should want to limit the impact of a hypothetical Edler extension on future negotiations with their young players needing post-entry level contracts.
When it comes to expansion as well, Edler’s potential new deal would be a significant issue. If the defenceman is still under contract for that draft, that means another protection spot being occupied and the risk of losing a better player becomes more realistic.
Burke makes a few great points in this short hit when it comes to re-signing Edler, signing the player to any significant length would be a risk that the Canucks are obviously hesistant to make. Injuries have plagued Edler’s career and beyond that, the type of contract that he reportedly wants is out of Vancouver’s budget and too far beyond a realistic timeline.
Just looking around the league, multiple teams have overpaid veterans that were signed to lengthy contracts and the team that made the signing is now suffering because of the mistake they made. Regardless of legacy within an organization, it helps to not have those kind of deals lingering in the future, no matter how difficult and emotional the decision might be.
If what Burke is saying is true, it’s a good sign that Canucks management learned their lesson and won’t extend the player if the deal doesn’t make sense for the present and future cap structure.