4. The team lets Alex Edler walk
The mentorship that Alex Edler provides to the Canucks young defencemen is invaluable. With players such as Jett Woo and Olli Juolevi coming up the pipeline and last seasons two NCAA free agent defence signings likely returning to the team, don’t you want a guy like Edler on your team, there to mentor the next wave of Canucks defencemen?
The answer is yes, you do. That’s exactly why Canucks’ general manager Jim Benning has expressed so much interest in bringing Edler back. The team was trying to get something done before the trade deadline but was unable to. Now we’re less than two months away from July 1st and Edler still doesn’t have a contract.
I applaud Benning for making sure that he doesn’t just sign Edler to an outrageous contract because he’s scared of what the team would look like without him. In my honest opinion, if Edler wants a no-movement clause that would require the Canucks to protect him at the Seattle expansion draft, then the Canucks are better suited to walk away. By the time the expansion draft rolls around, it won’t be worth it for the Canucks to lose a younger top-four defenceman to Seattle while keeping Edler.
So what if the two sides can’t agree on a contract and the team’s franchise leader in games played, goals, and points by a defenceman walks in free agency? The Canucks would surely be left with a gaping hole on their blueline that would need to be filled before the start of the season, but maybe bringing Edler back is something we don’t see this offseason.