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Alex Edler re-signs in Vancouver, and it was never really in doubt

The Canucks longest-tenured player signed a two-year, $12 million deal on Thursday.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Vancouver Canucks
Mar 6, 2019; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler (23) celebrates his goal against Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Anderson (31) (not pictured) during overtime at Rogers Arena.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

After rumours about Alex Edler re-signing did a dosey-doe on Wednesday, the parameters of his contract were officially announced today.

The best defenceman in Canucks history will return for a 14th season in Vancouver after signing a two-year, $12 million contract. The deal reportedly contains a no-movement clause but since the contract expires before the Seattle expansion draft, that’s no longer a concern for the Canucks.

“I’ve said that all along I wanted to stay and get something done,” Edler told reporters on a conference call Thursday. “We got closer and closer and in the end we got a deal done.

“My family, we’re all happy about it. It’s not easy when you have to move your whole family somewhere so we’re all happy about that.”

Rumours were swirling just a few days ago when it sounded like talks between Edler, his agent Mark Stowe and the Canucks had “gone off the rails, according to Elliotte Friedman. Many seemed to think Edler leaving was a foregone conclusion, although some thought he would eventually sign a deal...

“Unless Vancouver made it clear that a deal wasn’t possible, we knew that we’d be here. I’ve said all along if a deal was there in Vancouver, that was my number one priority was to get it done.”

The early rumours of this Edler deal suggested that it was a three-year contract in the $5 to $5.5 million mange. Then there were reports of a four-year deal.

Well, all of those rumours turned out false, mainly because a deal was never signed on Wednesday.

Injuries have been an issue for Edler. He’s missed 82 games total over the past four seasons, for an average of 61.5 games per season. That being said, he feels like he’s ready to continue being a heavily-used defenceman.

“I’m coming off a good year, I feel good,” he said. “I’ve been going through injuries, we all know that. If you ask me right now though, my body feels great.”

When asked if he would change his game at all, Edler shrugged off the notion.

“[Chris] Tanev and I always block shots. That’s our game I don’t think we’re gonna change that. Things can happen but the big thing is just taking care of your body.”

Edler could very well be the Canucks workhorse next year, unless Jake Gardiner joins the Canucks or Quinn Hughes pulls an Elias Pettersson-type season. Hughes does give the Canucks a presence that the Canucks have lacked, and Edler likely sees the writing on the wall.

“I’m always gonna try and be the best out there every game,” Edler said. “If younger guys come up and play better than me, then that’s just the nature of the game.”