Alex Edler – 2014 Trade Deadline Targets

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CHICAGO - OCTOBER 20: of the Chicago Blackhawks of the Vancouver Canucks at the United Center on October 20, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Canucks 2-1 in a shootout. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

With tonight’s blockbuster between the Blues and Sabres cranking up the heat on trade speculation across the League (DOMINOES!!!), let’s take a quick look at one of the names being batted around the rumour mill as it pertains to the Maple Leafs.

Alex Edler Scouting Report

Courtesy of McKeen’s Hockey:

Regular Season        Playoffs    
NHL Totals47356165221261598202836
SeasonTeamLgeGPGAPtsPIM+/-GPGAPtsPIM
2005-06Kelowna RocketsWHL6213405344211235812
2006-07Manitoba MooseAHL495212628980002
2006-07Vancouver CanucksNHL221236330002
2007-08Manitoba MooseAHL201100----------
2007-08Vancouver CanucksNHL7581220426----------
2008-09Vancouver CanucksNHL801027375411101786
2009-10Vancouver CanucksNHL76537424001224610
2010-11Vancouver CanucksNHL518253324132529118
2011-12Vancouver CanucksNHL8211384934052028
2012-13Vancouver CanucksNHL458142237-541012
2013-14Vancouver CanucksNHL425101524-23

Why the Leafs Might Want Him

There is the familiarity factor when it comes to Dave Nonis potentially dealing for a Vancouver Canuck. Alexander Edler was a 91st overall pick under him in 2004, meaning Nonis was around to see Edler’s first 97 games as an NHL defenceman in 2006-07 and 2007-08.

He’s 6’4, 215 lbs and skates well enough for a big man to log serious minutes. He’s shown he’s willing to throw that size around if so compelled.

Edler finished 7th overall in scoring among defencemen in 2011-12 with 49 points, shouldering major PP minutes and playing largely with Sami Salo at 5 on 5. He found success alongside the stay-at-home Salo but the Canucks haven’t really found the same fit since. Nevertheless, Edler has been averaging 23+ minutes this season, led the Canucks in minutes with 23:50 last season and again the season prior with 23:51.

Edler’s contract is a matter of perspective; it’s not a bargain today, but there’s cost certainty at $5 million per year until July 1, 2019 and by year 3 or 4 of this 6-year contract (signed in the summer) it may well look like a steal providing this year is an aberration for him.

SEASONAHL SALARYNHL SALARYP. BONUSESS. BONUSAAVCAP HIT
2013-14$3250000$3250000$0$1000000$5000000$5000000
2014-15$4250000$4250000$0$2000000$5000000$5000000
2015-16$6000000$6000000$0$3000000$5000000$5000000
2016-17$6000000$6000000$0$3000000$5000000$5000000
2017-18$6000000$6000000$0$0$5000000$5000000
2018-19$4500000$4500000$0$0$5000000$5000000

The Leafs appear to have a legitimate number one defenceman in Dion Phaneuf and then a sizeable hole in their top 4. Gunnarsson is a solid second pairing option, while Rielly, Franson and Gardiner have flirted with looking top-4 ready but are either too young or too inconsistent to be called upon as one reliably. Could Edler be the defenceman who helps fill out the Leafs top 4 by bumping the rest of their D into more appropriate roles?

Why the Canucks Might Move Him

Well, if not facing the prospect of a full-blown rebuild, the Canucks appear to be entering a retool stage. Anything could happen in Vancouver, with Kesler and Edler at the forefront of the BC rumour mill.

Edler received ample powerplay time under Alain Vigneault, averaging 3:30 over 2011-12 and 2012-13. His PP time has been cut by over a minute this season under John Tortorella, and his powerplay points are way down accordingly. The Vancouver powerplay has been atrocious, hovering around 13% for much of the season. The sum total is that Edler is on pace for his worst offensive season since his rookie year.

Defensive gaffes and turnovers from Edler have frustrated Canucks fans this season. It’s not the most meaningful stat, but his -23 stands out like a sore thumb on a Vancouver defence largely comprised of pluses (their other five regulars in Bieksa, Hamhuis, Garrison, Stanton, Tanev are a combined +21).

That doesn’t exactly sound like he’s going to come in and stabilize a wonky Leafs top 4, but there has to be some measure of bad luck going into this that could make him somewhat of a buy-low option. His team’s shooting percentage is way-low at 4.35% when he’s on the ice and Vancouver goalies stop a lower percentage of pucks with Edler on the ice than any other Canucks D. His shots per 60 at 5v5 are actually up from this season to last. This might be an opportunity to grab an established top-4 defenceman, with lots of past evidence he can play capably on a top pairing, just entering his prime years at 27. He’s another lefthanded defenceman, but he’s got plenty of tools and fits the age profile of the Leafs’ core.

Why It Probably Won’t Happen

The issue with the Leafs in terms of any prospective deadline deals for players of significance is that it has to be a near-even salary-for-salary exchange of roster players to make it work. The Leafs don’t have room now or in the summer, with a bevy of expiring contracts, to take on much in the way of cap hit.

Offloading salary in a separate deal is always possible, but it would have to be a significant piece dumped and a drastic shakeup of this magnitude by a team firmly in the playoff picture seems unlikely. That said, the Leafs aren’t convincing many of their contender status as it stands and should be looking to improve if and when they can.

The Leafs, if they’re taking on a big contract on defence, may be looking for someone with a better reputation in their own end of the rink given the Riellys, Gardiners and Fransons (granted, both of the latter two are not likely to be here long term) provide offensive options from the backend.

Further, if the rumours about the Canucks looking to essentially undo the mistake of moving Cody Hodgson for Zach Kassian are true, Mike Gillis is looking for a young center with top-6 potential. The Leafs aren’t exactly in a position to hand over one of those.

What say you, MLHS? What’s your level of interest in Alex Edler?

  • steele123

    Franson, pick for Edler?

  • Peterrossignol

    leafsbuzztap go after Myers from Buffalo

  • mcloki

    Does Van want Raymond back? They most likely they will want Kuli as well.

  • steele123

    @Peterrossignol leafsbuzztap  I’d be okay with that but we’d need to send some decent money back there way. Myers and Moulson for Franson, Kulie, Percy?

  • Chris Jay

    holy shit st louis got fleeced!

  • mcloki

    Molson is interesting. Myers is not.

  • mcloki

    They’re going for it.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    Personally I would like Bieksa instead

  • PointBlankHcky

    LeafsNews MapleLeafsHS Take him, give us Gauthier and Finn, and we’ll throw in a pick with Edler.

  • Cameron19

    @PointBlankHcky LeafsNews MapleLeafsHS  Gladly, but the cap doesn’t work.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    Good that Miller is off to the west now.

  • steele123

    mcloki  Myers would be a nice get especially under a coach like Carlyle…but that would mean that likely Franson and Gardiner would be gone.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    CanuckUKinToronto Ze_theLeafsFan  yeah I hope so

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    WOW Brian Elliot is fair cheap. I thought he was gettin more.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    I think Ott is a good fit in St. Louis.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    Chris Jay  I know that’s a lot imo

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    I don’t know how the Sabres do it. But they’ve gotten a lot of 1st rounders. Prolly get two more soon.

  • Cameron19

    Ze_theLeafsFan  The Blues have to go to the Semi Finals for the Sabres to get the one from this deal.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    Cameron19 Ze_theLeafsFan  or if Miller re-signs. Regardless that’s a lot of assets for 2 players.

  • Ze_theLeafsFan

    I just can’t believe how much the sabres got in return… WOW

  • Gilbey93

    If fans bitch about franson, Myers won’t stand a chance

  • rustynail

    @Peterrossignol leafsbuzztap  5.5 million a year for forever?

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    https://twitter.com/KyleTheReporter https://twitter.com/KyleTheReporter/status/439596298522869760
    First round pick Frederik Gauthier scored in his fourth straight game tonight. five goals and six points in those four games. https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Leafs&src=hash

  • Cameron19

    To LAK: Mason Raymond, Frazer McLaren
    To TOR: Kyle Clifford

    To PIT: Nikolai Kulemin, Trevor Smith, 4th in 2014 (CGY)
    To TOR: Simon Despres, 2nd in 2014*

    *conditional on Kulemin resigning with Penguins; otherwise pick drops to 3rd round

    Recall Holland, Ashton

    J.V.R. – Bozak – Kessel
    Lupul – Kadri – Holland
    Ashton – Bolland – Clarkson
    Clifford – McClem – D’Amigo
    (Orr)

    Gunnar – Phaneuf
    Gleason – Rielly
    Despres – Franson
    (Gardiner, Ranger)

    Bernier – Reimer

    Gardiner will have to fight to keep his spot, and we insert some toughness that can play in Clifford, and hopefully, some hungry young forwards to replace lost scoring. Opens up some cap space for us to work with in summer, as well as additional assets to use as trade bait.

  • rustynail

    https://twitter.com/GlennSchiiler https://twitter.com/GlennSchiiler/status/439597091669544960
    Sabres just HOARDING picks! By my count they will now have TEN 1st or 2nd round picks over next 2 drafts. With more likely to come…

  • newkb

    Cameron19  We give up way more than we get…..yet come ahead somehow.  Excellent.

  • DWCMLHS

    Gilbey93  Halak has a higher career save percentage than Miller. Stewart can put up star-caliber numbers in the right situation, and is good for 20+ goals most seasons Ott is a 3rd-liner. Halak + Stewart > Miller and Ott. And that’s without the prospect that could easily have gone in the first round (over a point-per-game in his draft-1 year, even!), and the conditional 1st-round pick.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    rustynail  They will move Halak and possibly Stewart for even more.

  • newkb

    DWCMLHS Gilbey93  Miller is the wild card.  It ain’t always about the numbers, or Reimer would have garnered this return….

  • rustynail

    ingy56 rustynail  no doubt

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    miller and ott out of the eastern conference….is it christmas?

  • wendelsway1

    Gonna make myself a hot toddy and hit the hay….nice chatting, Guys….G’Night.  :)

  • newkb

    rustynail ingy56  They are accumulating picks so they can get McDavid….

  • DWCMLHS

    newkb DWCMLHS Gilbey93  Miller shouldn’t have garnered this return. He’s very over-rated. That’s the point.

  • newkb

    wendelsway1  My wife hates you for that….LOL

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    newkb rustynail ingy56  Yup, improving the odds.

  • newkb

    ingy56 newkb rustynail  #tradingchips

  • Cameron19

    MikeGartner11 Cameron19  I think Clifford is developing an unhealthily large reputation around these parts for some reason. He is just a 4th liner. But, an upgrade to our 4th line, which could use him.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    newkb ingy56 rustynail  Good commodity these days.

  • newkb

    DWCMLHS newkb Gilbey93  I get that, but when goaltending is the most important position, and that is your only perceived weakness – you go for it.

  • Cameron19

    Dangle_My_Berries  A newly motivated Stewart might be a new thorn though…

  • newkb

    ingy56 newkb rustynail  Well, if you want to get McDavid.  They are playing off against the fact they may not finish deal last and will the lottery….

  • newkb

    ingy56 rustynail  PS – where is Bon?  Thought he’d be loving my vinyl setup….:)

  • newkb

    Cameron19 Dangle_My_Berries  Yeah, not happy about that.  Unless he’s a “Tarana Boy” who bleeds blue ‘n white.

    Scratch that, if he plays against us, he’ll light us up and beat up our “tough guys”.

  • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

    newkb ingy56 rustynail  Thought he said he was working in his fish tank.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Cameron19 Dangle_My_Berries  thats true….but how motivated is he gonna be playing for that awful team

  • Cameron19

    Dangle_My_Berries Cameron19  A lot of people feel pretty strongly he will be a Senator within the week. Possibly Moulson as well.

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    price out for tomorrows game…

  • Dangle_My_Berries

    Cameron19 Dangle_My_Berries  damnit I hate the sens

  • djamon

    Dangle_My_Berries  And Budaj playing like a sieve right now.