If the National Hockey League gets their way, Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alex Edler will become a restricted free agent on July 1, 2013 under the league’s latest collective bargaining proposal to the NHL Players’ Association.
Under the expired CBA, Edler would have qualified for unrestricted free agency by virtue of being 27 years old and having accrued over four years of NHL experience.
The Canucks began contract negotiations with Edler’s agent, Mark Stowe, back in August but appeared to be in no rush to complete an extension prior to the expiry of the CBA. Perhaps Canucks general manager Mike Gillis felt all along that the free agency age would change, so he felt no pressure to overpay to keep the defenceman.
The free agency status for forward Mason Raymond will change as well. Like Edler, Raymond was eligible for unrestricted free agency, but instead will now become restricted under the proposal.
Of course, this is all contingent on the NHLPA accepting the NHL’s proposal for free agency and there is no indication at this point whether they will or not.