Could We See Alex Edler in a Canucks Uniform Again?

The Province’s Tony Gallagher speculates Vancouver Canucks fans may never see Alex Edler in a Canucks uniform again given the current state of the NHL labour negotiations.

Talks have stagnated and for the first time, there is genuine belief that the entire season could be lost and Edler could very much be on his way out of town as a result.

As many fans are aware, Edler is slated to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2013 and with the cap expected to drop next season, the Canucks may not have the cap space to re-sign the defenceman.

If the NHL season is to resume, the league has promised the cap will be artificially inflated to $70.2 million, but is expected to drop in excess of $10 million for next season.

The Canucks have already committed over $55.4 million to 13 players for the 2013-14 season. Edler is among the unrestricted free agents the team will look to re-sign along with Maxim Lapierre, Chris Higgins, and Mason Raymond.

There was excitement back in October when the NHL tabled an offer asking for the unrestricted free agency age to be 28 years old as opposed to 27. This would have made Edler a restricted free agent, but the NHL has since dropped this pursuit in negotiations.

Even if there is a season, there are questions about Edler’s health. While Jason Garrison has declared himself fit to return if the season is to be begin, it has been all quiet on Edler’s front. There is speculation Edler could undergo back surgery again to correct linger issues in his back. This could put Edler out of action for the balance of the year.

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