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Report: Alex Edler and Canucks won’t get a deal done

There are still two weeks to go before the free agency period opens but teams are getting their ducks in a row ahead of the ‘courting period’ that opens on June 23rd.

On the Canucks front, the biggest question mark was the future of pending free agent defenceman Alex Edler and unfortunately, it appears that the organization won’t be able to come to terms on a new deal.

According to Rick Dhaliwal from Sportsnet 650, the Canucks and Edler don’t appear to have a deal in the future and the veteran of 814 games in a Canucks jersey poised to hit the free agent market.

The organization did not move Edler at the trading deadline as they intended to re-sign him and the added layer of a no-trade clause. Unfortunately, it appears they weren’t able to get the deal over the line and thus Edler could be heading somewhere else. In the past, it was reported that the Edler camp wanted a three-year deal while the Canucks wanted a two-year pact and furthermore, there were questions about the no-move-clause and the Canucks reluctance to include one because of the upcoming Seattle expansion draft.

This wasn’t a simple situation for the organization either.

The reasoning behind keeping Edler was understandable but he is 32-years-old and has struggled to remain healthy the last few years. If they were able to get him to sign that rumoured two-year deal, it made sense but anything longer and it could be a burden.

Ideally, they would’ve moved him at the trading deadline for future assets but the veteran defenceman exercised the right that he had earned.

It will be interesting to see what deal Edler can get on the open market because, despite the issues I mentioned above, there is still immense value in a player like him. With Erik Karlsson closing in on a new deal with San Jose, you can’t really blame Edler for leveraging the situation to get the most they can.

Now, Jim Benning and the rest of the organization has another hole to fill in their defence. They have said that they wanted to rebuild the back-end and here is their chance.

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    • Me

      Yes, because we really SHOULD sell out the team’s future for a few more years of service with an aging, injury-prone defenseman. If Benning had signed Edler’s 3 year NMC contract I bet you’d be whining about that too.

      • Goon

        Benning’s job is to negotiate a reasonable contract. If Benning didn’t think he could do that, he should have moved Edler at the trade deadline. If Benning is unable to do either of these things, as he was unable to do with Hamhuis a couple of years ago and as he’ll probably be unable to do with Tanev this coming season, then he’s *failed at his job*.

        • Puck Viking

          Was referring that he should have made an attempt to move him way before the deadline. Instead he waited got nothing for him and now he leaves for nothing… this is hamhuis all over again.

        • DogBreath

          He had a NMC in his contract, so no matter how you ask him, its his prerogative to say ‘no’ (which he apparently did). If they had no aspirations to sign him in future, sure, you could make it clear that he wasn’t in the plans and attempt to push him out the door. However, he was in their plans (as he should have been) so you treat him with a level of respect commensurate with that goal.

          This isn’t a failure to do his job – its two party’s not having the same goals, so you move on.

          • Goon


            It’s amazing how many people will be apologists for a GM not doing the basics of his job. If it was so impossible to *either* move or re-sign expiring players with NTCs, why do other GMs manage these sorts of moves regularly, and Benning fails at them over and over?

            Is it that Vancouver has a lot of players who are particularly difficult and unreasonable? Or is it that they have a GM who is really bad at this kind of asset management?

          • DogBreath

            An apologist? No. I’m just aware that these sort of agreements take both party’s to agree to the terms, no matter how badly one of the party’s once a certain outcome.

        • Killer Marmot

          “It’s … his … job.”

          Yes, managers move players with NTCs all the time. They also fail to move players with NTCs all the time because the player says no. Just because it’s sometimes possible doesn’t mean it’s always possible.

          Expecting a manager to do the impossible is not constructive.

        • TheRealPB

          GMs can sometimes manage to move players with NMCs or NTCs. It doesn’t happen all that happen but it does happen. As it has for Benning. It doesn’t make one an apologist to say that it is nowhere near as easy as you suggest. There are so many examples of other teams (as well as our own) hampered in the later years of contracts by these. To suggest otherwise is ridiculously naive.

          • Cageyvet

            The whole “he could have traded him” notion is as misguided as the concept that every bad contract can be turned to your benefit with a “team that needs to get to the cap floor” or by “weaponizing your cap space.”

            These are the things that are trotted out by Benning haters as being the gospel, while pretending those who acknowledge reality are simply Benning apologists.

            Just like not every player will waive their no-trade clause, not every contract can be dumped to your advantage. If this was true, why doesn’t every player get a no-move or no-trade in lieu of more salary or term? Because GM’s know it hamstrings them, you’d think this fantasy would understand that by now. Even when they do waive, it’s on their terms and weakens the market (see Kesler).

            It’s the same for bad contracts. If the value to cap floor teams was so good, or teams were so willing to pay you to take on their garbage, there wouldn’t be any buyouts. Yet here we go again with Phaneuf. How hard is it to understand that the professionals see right through the amateur tactics lauded by a vocal minority on this board?

          • canuckfan

            Canucks need to resign Edler and keep Tanev otherwise Canucks will be crap. Once Edler has been signed they just need to find another right side defender as Tanev has a year left and they can do that through free agency.
            Hughes can play both sides in case of injuries, so if they sign a right side defender we should be okay on the right.
            For the left they will resign Hutton, likely not qualify him though and open him up to being a free agent but end up signing him for less, and then there is Hughes and Juolevi.
            The long term solution for the right side will have to be found from within through the draft Tanev could be gone at the end of the season or at the trade deadline the free agent they sign this summer won’t be a number one but should be a solid 2 that can eat up ice time so that Green can rotate the defense evenly. Stecher is fine but not a top defender but can eat up ice time without being a liability.
            If we don’t sign Edler we will need a free agent on both the right and left defense. If we do sign Edler Canucks can sign a winger and right side defender but chase a winger who can score more seeing there are no top right defenders available and get a good not elite right side defender.
            If they don’t sign Edler we are hooped.

        • DeL

          You know the situation as well as I do. He inherited Edler’s full NTC and he wouldn’t wave it. Nothing Benning could do. Same as Hamhuis Benning doesn’t wear any of this his hands were tied. If he negotiated a three year deal with Edler now that contained a NTC or worse an NMC that would be a failure. Letting Edler walk is not.

      • Puck Viking

        Was referring that he should have made an attempt to move him way before the deadline. Instead he waited got nothing for him and now he leaves for nothing… this is hamhuis all over again.

        • DogBreath

          How do you know he didn’t have those discussions with Edler prior to the deadline? Presumably both party’s discussed their future and concluded that they wanted to attempt to sign a contract. They couldn’t reach agreement. It happens all the time.

  • Beer Can Boyd

    “The reasoning behind keeping Edler was understandable but he is 32-years-old and has struggled to remain healthy the last few years. If they were able to get him to sign that rumoured two-year deal, it made sense but anything longer and it could be a burden.” Exactly, especially after he showed no interest in helping the club rebuild by accepting a trade last year. It’s a business, and really, I don’t feel the Canucks owe him anything at this point. And, as I have pointed out a few times, last years bounce back season conveniently came in a contract year. If he leaves, c’est la vie. Not as if the team is ready to challenge for the Cup yet anyway, so Edler walking just leaves more ice time for Hughes, Julolevi, Hutton et al to develop. This is not a tragedy.

    • Gino über alles

      I mostly agree with this, but Edler’s main value is providing leadership and taking the hard minutes against other teams top lines that Hughes and Juolevi are years away from being ready for. Letting him go is the smartest option but we can’t pretend like this won’t hurt next year, and we’d need another top pairing LHD as there is no way that Hutton would cut it there.

      Let’s hope Edler sees what the market is and comes back to his senses for a 2 year deal, he’ll provide good value for that and by that time the kids will be much more ready for the top minutes.

    • Cageyvet

      Beer Can, I agree 100 per cent, but am even more encouraged by the overwhelming Cheers to Trash ratio for your comment. 23-0 as I write this. That reminds me that many who post here are devoid of common sense, but the fanbase as a whole understands the big picture, and how we got here.

  • Simply means that the $5M+ that we would have paid to our own UFA is going to another younger UFA like Gardiner or Myers. Too bad if it ends this way but I will still look forward to seeing Edler’s name added to the Ring of Honour along side Ohlund’s name.

  • speering major

    If Edler insists on term then this isn’t all that bad

    Edler at 3+ years and $6 million. 32 years old

    Gardiner is 28, and has been more healthy. You could sign him for 6 and be in a better spot

    Myers is 29. He plays the right side which is a bigger roster hole. He won’t be 32 for …. do the math

    Yes you will pay a premium for those players and this isn’t ideal, but if Benning signed either and didn’t pay an astronomical rate, it wouldn’t be much of a problem. It might actually make the team younger and better

    The benefit of re-signing Edler was a hometown discount, if he’s not giving one, why is everyone clamoring to sign a 32 year old with an injury history during a rebuild?

    • TD

      I didn’t really expect a hometown discount, but Edler would be a good stop gap and protection for Hughes and Juolevi. That’s great for 2 years and is possibly palatable for 3 if the allowed Elder to be exposed and moved in the third year. Management and every fan should be concerned that (a) he’s 33 years of age now, (b) he had a “bounce back year” on an expiring contract, and (c) he missed 82 games over the past 4 years.

      Being able to assist in easing Hughes and Juolevi into the league is helpful in the short term, but then you are paying big money for a part time d man who you hope is on the third pairing.

      • Cageyvet

        The value in Edler has always been in the assumption that this contract would be short-term, allowing him to be a transitional player on our defense.

        Long-term, pricey (UFA) contracts bring little more than Edler, when he plays his best, with at least 3 more years of term that could be troublesome.

        The best scenario is to re-sign Edler short term, but it’s also the only scenario in which I’m in favour of bringing him back. We have the bucks to overpay him for a short contract, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go.

  • TheRealPB

    I like (but don’t love) a $5 million Edler. I have zero desire for a $6 or $7 million Edler especially when you add in the 3rd year they are seeking and the expansion draft implications. It leaves us thin on the blue line but given how much time he missed with injuries and the fact that Edler always seemed close to but never fully reached his potential means that I’d rather that we swing for the fences with a Panarin and a Myers or Gardiner.

    • DogBreath

      Agree – this was likely the deal breaker where they’ve allegedly agreed to walk away. I don’t see a team giving him 3 years with Seattle expansion coming up. I wouldn’t be surprised if they settle on a 3 year term with the third year without a NMC.

      • Cageyvet

        Other than his agent using the market as leverage against the Canucks, I’m surprised this isn’t already a done deal. It makes the most sense, and I thought he’d want to stay here enough to do that deal. If he’s dead set on getting a no-trade right through expansion, from any team in the league, good luck to him. He may get it, but there won’t be too many offers for that deal, imo, his injury history, age, and frankly inconsistent offensive production don’t work in his favour.

  • Steamer

    Like a hockey player with potential but no apparent interest in developing his skill-set, a writer who does voluminous research, yet fails to deliver quality product due to undeveloped skills… Ryan, your writing willimprove dramatically with just a little effort spent on basic skills: sentence construction; syntax, grammar and spelling. Unacceptable to think ‘it doesn’t matter’, or ‘it’s good enough’ for a player &the same for a writer. Painful to read copy that is so poorly worded the reader is left scratching their head trying to fathom what you are attempting to articulate! Please, please, spend some time honing your craft – the results will be dramatic & will bring your ‘game’ up several levels.

  • wojohowitz

    The defence is going to get really ugly. Edler was at least almost mistake free. Gostisbehere is soft. Myers is disinterested over a long season. Gardiner will make turnovers that will singlehandedly turn wins into losses – he`s already played his best hockey.

    There are free agents who will sign for one/two years for one/two mill like Benn or Engellund.

    • TheRealPB

      Come on — Edler was mistake free? One of the things I most think about Edler is that he’d deliver an occasional thunderous hit, he was generally solid in his own zone, he’d have a beautiful pass every now and then, he had the most painful and obvious zone entry on the PP and had absolutely zero creativity if stationed on the blue line, and he’d have at least one brain cramp every game and send the puck straight up the slot or throw it back into the corner with no pressure. Every game. He was best when he had no pressure on him — the #2 guy on defense (after Bieksa or perhaps Hamhuis) and the #3 guy on offense (after Ehrhoff or Weber or whoever else). I am frankly amazed that given all his refusal to even consider a move he’s unwilling to give a hometown discount. It’s completely his right but I also think we’d be overlooking a lot of warts to sign him to such a big deal.

      • Steampuck

        Do we have any sense of what the discussion really was? Maybe he was willing to take less money than he might have got elsewhere (frankly: we’ve had him for below market value his entire career) so long as a NMC was included. But for him: the term was the sticking issue. I get it: at his career stage, he’s not getting another contract after this one, and he wants to keep playing and wants a little security. I can’t help thinking that the expansion draft is the real problem here: three more years of Edler @ $5 million would be perfectly reasonable without it.

        I also think you’re selling Edler a little short. Yes: he had some pretty stellar brain cramps, but I can’t think of another Canuck defenceman (ever) who joined the rush better than he did. Easily in the top five of offensive defencemen the team has ever seen—and top five defensive, too. The biggest knock against him from our perspective is that he shunned attention. He was quiet and avoided attention. On a personal note: I can totally respect that. At his very worst, he was a minute-munching complementary part who fit the team we had perfectly.

        • TheRealPB

          Ehrhoff and Lumme were both better at joining the rush. Lidster, Ohlund, Bieksa, and Salo were all better two-way D. Snespts, Butcher, Tanev, Hamhuis and Mitchell were all better defensively. Kearns and Reinhart were far more gifted offensive creators. Edler belongs in the top ten of D the Canucks had, but more because of longevity than pure talent.

      • Cageyvet

        Now that he might walk for nothing, he’s becoming a legend. I like Edler, at his best he’s a beast (not anywhere near often enough), and he had a fine year.

        Now, let’s remember the real player, during his prime no less, not as an aging veteran. He plays a mildly physical game, but nowhere near the potential he has. He is the guy who fills in adequately as your puck-moving, rush-joining, pp quarterbacking defenseman, while you jealously watch the best in the league ply their trade. He wants to stop the puck so badly he plays on top of the goalie, leaving the man in the slightly-high slot open and at the same time screening his own goalie. He hesitates too long or just goes Mr. Magoo and makes an inexplicable play.

        That’s the Edler I remember….solid guy, one of our best, but never one of THE best, and leaving you wanting so much more when you see him have one of those rare games where he puts it all together. A very solid NHL defenseman, but if he walks away, well, it’s only due to our depleted blue line that we actually worry about replacing him. His best years are behind him, so all plans have to be looking firmly to the future, be that with or without him.

  • J-Canuck

    I think this just blows Edler’s “ I want to be in Vancouver” narrative to bits.
    He had a no trade clause and refused to be moved to a contender. Now he will test the market and pro find out that he is in the 2nd/3rd tier of FA Dmen. I think GMJB was trying to be loyal to Edler and look out for the club at the same time. Now he can take the $ allotted for Ed and get a younger Dman that will be here during EP and Quinn’s prime years.
    Edler actually is doing the team a PR favor and future favor by walking away

  • Marvin101

    dhaliwal spews out rumors every day and last time i checked, he’s not batting a thousand. in fact he’s probably under the the mendoza line so i’d say there’s still a strong possibility that edler returns.

  • Captain Video

    Wow. This is an even more catastrophic mismanagement of assets at the deadline than the Hamhuis debacle. Time for Benning to go. He simply doesn’t learn and keeps making the same mistakes.

    • TheRealPB

      How do you figure? Wouldn’t re-signing a 30+ year old injury plagued d-man to a contract that has implications for the draft be repeating the same mistakes? Isn’t this the definition of actually making a smart move by not giving in to the 3rd year demand?

      • Goon

        This is information Benning should have had a long time ago. If Edler wasn’t worth resigning, or if Edler and Benning were so far apart in their asks, Benning should have moved Edler at the deadline. It was the same story with Hamhuis.

          • Kevlar73

            That’s twice that Edler has refused to be moved, he was also asked to waive to go to Tampa in 2018. Maybe Benning could have been a little more persuasive with Eagle but the effort was certainly there to get a return on a diminished asset. I’ll still be surprised if Edler does truly sign somewhere else

          • DB1282

            some on this forum have a hard time understanding what a full no trade clause means, I would like to see if they were In JB’s place how they would have pulled off an Edler trade.

        • TheRealPB

          If Panarin and Bobrovsky walk (or Duchene and Dzingel for that matter) is Kekalainen not DOING. HIS. JOB.? The fact that a pending UFA with a NMC won’t agree to a trade is not news. I was critical of Benning for botching the Vrbata and Hamhuis non-deals but Vrbata did the exact same thing in Florida — absolutely refused to accept a trade at the deadline, while in the Hamhuis case it was clear that Dallas played him to get the deal they wanted out of Calgary. Your arguments on this point are absurd.

  • Hockey Bunker

    Putting myself in Edlers shoes I’m hearing Canucks say they only want to give me 2 years at 5 million (assumed) and I’m the best D man in the history of the franchise. What the hell? Slap in the face.
    I’m hearing from my agent that I can get 20-30 million in free agency probably from some nice warm place with lower taxes, less travel, a NMC, and could win a cup.
    Now I’m really pissed off.
    To hell with Vancouver. So much for loyalty. Seems like it’s turned into a one way street.
    Now I know how Ohlund felt.

      • Hockey Bunker

        Agree 100%. We’ll see next week how popular he is or isnt. By pushing it this far the agent probably believes the Canucks offer is the base and it’s only up from there. We shall see.

    • Gino über alles

      Not signing Ohlund was one of the smartest things Gillis did, he walked in 2009 and signed a 7 year deal in Tampa and barely finished 2 years of it. There is no way we would have had a team that won the President’s trophy for 2 years and made it to game 7 if we had that cap hit. I loved Ohlund when he was here but there is a time you let the guy go and let another team overpay for a player that is past his best years yet wants to get paid like they are still ahead of him.

      And doing that with Edler would just be déjà vu, I love him as well but I’d be shocked if he got a NTC on a 3-year deal with the expansion draft approaching. And if he does then we’ll see that letting him go was the best thing we could do.

  • Burnabybob

    Disappointing that they couldn’t get it done, but at least Benning seems to have learned from hard experience not to give out long contracts to older players. It’s also another signal that he’s ready to hand over the reigns to younger players. The Canucks will have a huge amount of cap space now, and I just hope Benning uses the money wisely. I would rather he didn’t sign anyone than signed the wrong players. He should pass on Gardiner and Myers and wait for Tyson Barrie next summer. He’s a BC boy, and might welcome a move home.

    • Muttley

      It’s a bit of a pickle alright. Money will be an issue in a couple of years
      if the Canucks have aspirations of simply buying a defense man, it
      could hinder the future.
      We just do not have a generous supply of A-! player to trade and
      giving up picks comes back to haunt.
      If nothing else, I just want to make the plea, NOT Zaitsev.

  • Locust

    Two years, $6.25M is the MAX. If he wont take that, bye bye.
    Cant handcuff the team now that we have big name impact players that need to be nurtured and locked in

    • Cageyvet

      As long as he’s not protected, even if we draft more D, he’s fine on that deal for 3 years. He’d be shunted to the 3rd pairing in his final year, but with ELC guys taking his spot higher up your overall D spend would be right in line, and you’d be primed to re-sign a kid with his 6.25 when the final year expired.

      • Cageyvet

        Let me add that if he did sign for 3 with no protection for year 3 at least, he’s likely to bring full value. We chalk up the antics to bargaining tactics, and all is forgiven. He likely outperforms any 3rd pair dman we’ve had recently in his final year. He’s probably injured often enough to open a spot in the lineup for a rising prospect. All the while, he provides a team-first, classy, professional, veteran presence to the team and mentoring the young D in particular.

        Bringing him back for this type of deal is a win. We’re so thin on the blue line that, barring a hefty UFA signing, the money is insignificant and we damn well need the depth every year. The only downside is that, as depth, he’s not available to fill in for himself when he inevitably gets injured.

  • Kanuckhotep

    If Edler insists.on a three year deal and a NMC with Seattle on the horizon then it’s not an attractive option to keep him. The public are not privy to this particular negotiation obviously and can only guess Benning and his pals have their sights set on some other veteran D for the blue line. 3x$5M without a NMC/NTC seems reasonable to me. If it’s been offered why not take it?

  • Rodeobill

    Having Quinn on the team next year makes this more palatable than if he wasn’t, as our left side looks much deeper now. If that money and cap can be used to target other shortcomings (RHD/LW, etc) through trade/ufas and put to better overall use, then this might not be as bad as it seems. Eddy deserves respect and a good send off.

  • j2daff

    It’s very possible that there was no way Edler was ever going to waive his NMC but as Benning spent most of the season stating he wasn’t moving him and at the last minute anounced he had asked Edler if he would waive it there seems to have been a failure to have a real plan. It would have been way more likely for Edler to waive if the organization made it known from the start of the season that that was what they thought was best for the organization. They could still have made a pitch to him on July 1st and could have made that known to him. The way they went about it was very unlikely to have ever convinced him.

    That said, today we cannot come to an agreement with him. If that was known to him prior to the TDL it would have been even more motivation for him to waive.
    This team will miss him in the short term and most of us will not like seeing him go but at this point it’s probably what’s best for the organization based on the info available.

  • Nuck16

    This is the right time to move on from Edler, just like last season was the right time for the Sedins to retire.
    Edler is usually a minus player. He’s inconsistent and gets injured a lot. Most of his last contract he was considered unmovable because of how he was playing and injuries and that was when he was years younger.
    Yes he gets his points because he’s the PP QB, but it’s been consistently one of the worst PPs in the league.

    • LTFan

      Nuck 16 – “Edler is usually a minus Player” Well for the last 5 years most of the team is Minus. He has averaged over the last 3 years 64.6 games played out of 82 League games. His contract had a NMC or NTC. The reason for this is that both the team and the player want to have some stability. Also the player usually give up some money for this condition in their contract. Depending on your definition of one of the worst – in 2017-18 they ranked 12th. 2018-19 ranked 21st. Not good but not one of the worst.
      Unless JB has another NHL top 4 defenceman ready to sign on July 1, not signing Edler will be another screw up by JB. We shall see.