Gilman said the team will likely soon begin talks to extend the contract of defenceman Alex Edler, who is entering the final year of a contract that pays him $3.25 million a season. That makes Edler the fifth highest-paid defenceman on the Canucks behind Kevin Bieksa and Jason Garrison (both $4.6 million), Dan Hamhuis ($4.5 million) and Keith Ballard ($4.2 million). Edler led Canucks defencemen with 11 goals and 49 points last season. "It is safe to assume we will be commencing discussions with Alex's representative (Mark Stowe) in a short period of time," Gilman said.
perfect time to negotiate a contract extension with Alexander Edler than right now. Or is it? Edler recorded a career high in production in 2011-12 with 11 goals, 38 assists and 49 points and a career - high 145 blocked shots. Edge to Edler in negotiation talks.
He also recorded a 0 in the +/- category, which tied his personal worst in his tenure as a Canuck. Edler = minus. We saw him struggle. Many, including myself predicted a breakout year for Alex in 2011-12 but it was almost the opposite. I had him as a Norris finalist after his 2010-11 season, where he had less points but was a +13. But it was not to be.
The question marks abound with Edler. Is he Lidstrom incarnate? Probably not. (God dammit I was hoping he was.)
My guess is that Edler will pair with Jason Garrison on the Canucks' second pairing behind Kevin Bieksa / Dan Hamhuis which we already know is a formidable duo. But hey, that's just my opinion. Even so, that is two gifted offensive guys in Edler/Garrison paired together. Is that really going to happen?
We know that a Keith Ballard - Chris Tanev tandem works. In a perfect world, Ballard, who frequents Alain Vigneault's doghouse, gets moved this summer. But let's assume that does not happen. Well then we have a shit storm don't we? That depends on the roles given to each defenceman.
Edler's role, clearly, is not that of a stay-at-home defenceman. So here is what I see happening:
-Edler and the Canucks do NOT come to terms for a contract extension. Edler plays another year out with the Canucks and kicks some serious ass and forces Mike Gillis' hand next summer as an unrestricted free agent. (if I am Edler I would do this.)
I would give an option "b" but I don't see it happening unless Ballard is moved and Edler plays a bigger offensive role with Tanev, for example. Edler's case is not as strong as Alexandre Burrows' as far as extensions go. It's almost as if Garrison was acquired to replace Edler, or as backup insurance. It's true, face it.
Bottom line is that Edler needs to, and will have a super season with Vancouver to define his role as a top 4 defenceman in this League.
What say you?