What’s not to like about the game of Alex Edler? The Swedish defender that all Canucks’ fans know and love has been lights out defensively this season. He’s been handling over 20 minutes a night quite easily in his mid-thirties, he didn’t complain when his first unit power play time ended, and he’s been the same old “Steady Eddie” on the penalty kill.
Talk about a guy who will do anything for a chance to win in Vancouver. He wants to play hockey in BC, and nowhere else. First, despite more money calling from across the league, he signs a very generous discounted contract in Vancouver. A two-year deal with a cap hit of $6 million annually. What a steal for a franchise leading blueliner.
The inevitable injury bug struck the eagle, but it was a blessing in disguise. His minutes were too high, and finally after a lot of complaints from the fans, Travis Green dropped him from the man-advantage altogether to make sure his average ice time wasn’t too high. He didn’t complain, he didn’t get hurt anymore and he still found a way to put up some big numbers. In a full season, it wouldn’t have been surprised to see him hit 40+ points. That’s insane for a 33-year-old without time on the ice up a man.
The smaller workload approach has been perfect for Edler. The credit he deserves might be shadowed by the offensive explosion of the rookie, Quinn Hughes, but the fans of Vancouver don’t take Edler for granted. His defence is still sound and he rarely makes the wrong play. The Canucks aren’t the same team without him, and that’s why he’s a top-three nomination in my books.