Rumours abound yesterday and the term uncertain, the Vancouver Canucks have officially announced that they have re-signed defenceman Alex Edler to a two-year contract.
There were reports by us at Canucks Army of Edler signing for three or four years, but the deal has now been sealed as a contract that keeps him in Vancouver for two more years. We apologize for the miscommunication.
The new deal will carry a cap hit of $6-million per season, making him the current highest-paid player on the Canucks blue line. Edler joins Quinn Hughes as the only Vancouver defenceman signed beyond next season as well.
At 33 years old, Edler has his best days behind him, but he demonstrated how he was able to stay consistent, putting up 10 goals and 34 points last season in just 56 games played. His 0.61 points per game was his highest rate since the 2010-11 season.
A major factor in the previous rumours, signing for just two years leaves the Canucks with massive flexibility. He will now be not available for the Seattle expansion draft, letting Vancouver have an extra protection spot for the upcoming headache.
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The shorter term also signifies a lot of future planning from Canucks management. Edler’s new contract will expire right when both Quinn Hughes and Calder Trophy winner Elias Pettersson need new post-ELC deals.
Vancouver is now heading into the 2019-20 season with a total of seven defencemen on their NHL roster, but as it has been widely reported, Benning and his management team have been making calls to improve their blue line — whether that be via trade or a free agent signing.
It will be an interesting weekend as the hometown 2019 NHL Draft is a destination to make a significant splash as they approach the new season with an eye on future success.