Canucks: Alexander Edler deserves another contract extension

Alexander Edler signed a new two-year deal last offseason, but the Vancouver Canucks should look towards extending him again.

The Vancouver Canucks only have one defenceman signed beyond next year — veteran Tyler Myers —  although they should have no problem working out a new deal with Quinn Hughes, slated for RFA status in 2021.

Chris Tanev and Oscar Fantenberg are scheduled to enter free agency this summer. Troy Stecher is pending RFA. The contracts of Alexander Edler and Jordie Benn expire after next season, so general manager Jim Benning has to start planning ahead.

When the Canucks re-signed Edler to a two-year pact last year, it was a huge win for the front office. This meant they wouldn’t be forced to protect Edler in next year’s Seattle expansion draft. But as I wrote about here, the Canucks may as well extend Edler and protect him anyway.

Age (34 in April) and injuries haven’t been enough to slow down Edler. He’s still an extremely reliable top-four blueliner, and he hasn’t lost any offence whatsoever. The soon-to-be 34-year-old has 33 points in 2019-20, and he was on pace to have his best offensive season in eight years.

Edler can still play over 20 minutes a night, and he still brings the physical edge that the team needs. He had 162 blocked shots and 108 hits before the season went on pause. Age, simply put, has not caught up to Edler.

And the fact Edler signed a modest two-year deal last year goes to show how much he dreams of finishing his career right where it started. The least the Canucks could do is reward Edler for his loyalty at this point.

Add everything up, and the Canucks have no reason to not extend Edler. He signed a team-friendly deal last offseason, so there’s no reason to think that he’ll have outrageous contract demands this time around.

The Canucks need to start planning out a blue line for the 2021-22 season now, and signing Edler would be a nice starting point on that front.