Alexander Edler has played his entire 13-year career with the Vancouver Canucks and, according to his agent, the pending unrestricted free agent wants to stay with the team beyond his current contract.
“That would be his intent to stay, I think so,” Edler’s agent Mark Stowe said Wednesday when asked about contract talks in an interview on Sportsnet 650’s Starting Lineup. “The starter would be for Vancouver to make the first step and say that they see Alex in the plans. They’re a rebuilding club, they’ve drafted well … but I think if he has a comfort level that he’s in the mix and in the plan and in a leadership role then I think he’d be interested for sure.”
Stowe said there haven’t been any talks yet with the Canucks about Edler’s future in B.C. The 32-year-old is in the final season of a six-year, $30-million contract and is the longest-serving Canuck now that the Sedin twins have retired.
With Edler’s contract – which includes a no-trade clause – expiring at the end of the season, his name has come up in trade rumours lately as the Canucks continue to rebuild their roster with younger players. Stowe was asked about those rumours and how they impact a player.
“From a player’s side it becomes routine, particularly if the player plays at a high-level and there’s value to be gained, or exchanged, by the club,” Stowe said. “From a legal standpoint and a CBA standpoint, what’s lacking is if they ask a player to waive the (no-trade) clause and he negotiated for it in his deal, there’s no reimbursement for taking a hometown discount or less of a fair-market salary.”
Before trade talks can happen, Edler has to get healthy as he’s currently on injured reserve. Edler suffered an MCL sprain in his knee in a game on Oct. 24 against the Vegas Golden Knights, and the initial diagnosis was that he’d miss four to six weeks. Edler also missed 12 games last season with a similar injury.
Stowe was asked about Edler’s recovery and if he expects his client to return on schedule.
“He’s progressing just fine. I would say he’s on schedule regarding the original prognosis of four to six weeks,” Stowe said. “The trainers and staff are on it every day, so I would think like his past similar injuries the four to six weeks is accurate.”
With the free agent market for defencemen being fairly limited, Edler will have a difficult decision to make as the trade deadline approaches.