Alexander Edler is finishing up one of the best seasons of his career, and he’s left Vancouver Canucks general manager Jim Benning with an easy choice.
It was just another signature moment in Edler’s storied career with the Canucks. The soon-to-be 33-year-old is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the, and general manager Jim Benning shouldn’t have to give it much though.
Re-signing Edler should be a rather simple choice for Benning, as the former continues to display his value to this young and rebuilding club. Edler needs just one more goal to match his career-high of 11 (set in the 2011-12 campaign).
Edler has been Vancouver’s only consistent blueliner this season, and even though he’s about to turn 33, the Canucks can afford to overpay a bit to retain his services. Term will obviously be important, but there’s no easy and quick replacement for Edler. The Canucks are better off keeping him around, rather than overpaying for another blueliner that comes with too much risk (Tyler Myers, Erik Karlsson, the list goes on).
The Canucks need a reliable veteran presence to help Quinn Hughes, with the latter set to become their top blueliner for years to come. Who else but Edler for that mentoring Hughes in that role? Especially when you consider that Chris Tanev could be playing out his final days with the Canucks.
Edler has been injury-prone throughout his career, but he’s been healthy for the bulk of this season — and his impact is being felt more than ever before. Let’s not forget the team’s brutal month of February (Edler only played three games due to a concussion), that essentially ended their chances of making the playoffs.
Add it all up, and the Canucks have every incentive to re-sign Edler after this season. He’s still their top blueliner, shouldn’t command too much money, isn’t easily replaceable and can help Hughes’ development for the long run.