The Vancouver Canucks made a huge move on Friday, but it involved a key player staying put, not being traded. They locked up big-minute defenseman Alex Edler to a six-year extension worth $30 million (according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun).
The Swede will carry the highest cap hit of any Canucks blueliner at $5 million starting in 2013-14. The team has four additional defensemen set to carry cap hits of at least $4 million apiece after this season, so one cannot help but wonder if Roberto Luongo is just one of the team’s assets possibly heading for an exit.
(Plenty of people believe that Keith Ballard will be bought out.)
Regardless of the potential domino effect, it’s easy to see why the team made Edler’s re-signing a priority.
Despite being just 26, he’s already played in 386 regular season games and has averaged around 24 minutes per contest during the last two seasons. He generated career-highs in goals (11), assists (38), points (49) and shots on goal (228) last season.
One could argue that Edler ranks among the NHL’s most underrated defensemen, but his days of being underpaid are numbered.