Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alexander Edler is entering the final year of his contract. Here’s what a possible extension could look like.
Edler, 32, signed a six-year extension worth $30 million in Jan. 2013. Per CapFriendly.com, he’ll make $5 million in 2018-19, and carries a no-trade clause. We know he doesn’t want to leave Vancouver, nor does general manager Jim Benning seem keen on moving Edler.
So it shouldn’t surprise anybody if the two sides begin to talk about an extension sometime during next season. Keeping Edler beyond 2018-19 makes sense, considering that Michael Del Zotto (a pending UFA), and Ben Hutton (a pending RFA), are unlikely to come back.
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Keep in mind Hutton was a frequent healthy scratch and probably doesn’t have a long-term future here, with Quinn Hughes and Olli Juolevi coming up.
Alrighty, so Edler will be 33 years of age next season, and we all know how much he’s struggled to stay healthy. Since the 2013-14 season, he’s played just 63, 74, 52, 68 and 70 games. An ageing and injury-prone player is not worthy of a long-term contract.
Assuming the Canucks and Edler are mutually interested in working out a new deal, Benning is going to have a difficult task negotiating this one.
You want to give Edler a fair deal, but you can’t be handcuffed with hefty contract, should he begin to decline earlier than expected.
Let’s keep in mind that if the Canucks decide to extend Chris Tanev (two years left on his deal), and both Hughes and Juolevi are in the NHL by 2019-20, Edler becomes a No. 4 or 5 defenceman. As such, he wouldn’t be worth $5 million a season by then.
Now, Edler knows next year is his last chance to cash in on a big contract. He’ll be 33 next April, so don’t expect a hometown discount. Edler is going to want a multi-year contract, and he’ll want a fancy pay day.
If I’m Benning, I’m looking to offer a three-year deal worth around $15 million. The first year of the contract should be front-loaded, then the second and third years can carry less of a cap hit. That way, the Canucks won’t be tied up in cap space.
But if Edler demands more money and a term north of three years, the Canucks will have to seriously think about moving on from one of the better blueliners in their history. They have young talent coming up, and you can’t keep rewarding your veterans with overly-generous contracts.
So, a three-year contract should be the maximum term, and it shouldn’t be worth more than $15 million. If Edler wants more than that, the Canucks have to move on.