While the start of the Vancouver Canucks season Saturday night is sure to have the team excited, defenseman Alexander Edler has something extra to be happy about. It was reported late last night via Twitter by the team’s Mark Gillis that the two parties had agreed to a long term contract. Although the team did not release any details of his salary, it’s been widely reported that Edler has inked a six year, $30 million extension, and will run through the 2018-19 season.
The 26 year old Edler has been a force to be reckoned with on the Canucks blue line since joining the team in 2006. Last season, Edler had a career high in goals, assists, and points, as he contributed 11 goals and 38 assists to the Canucks potent offense. Edler had been dealing with a nagging back injury, but has been cleared for the start of the season.
While Edler certainly got a nice pay raise, credit should be given to the Canucks front office for getting a deal done so soon. With a lack of top notch defenseman in this upcoming free agent class, Edler would have easily been the cream of the crop. He likely would’ve seen an even bigger contract as well. But GM Mark Gillis got down to work, and both sides came out with a deal they deemed fair. Now, one of the best offensive defensemen in the game will be donning a Canucks sweater for a very long time.
For teams such as the Philadelphia Flyers who had hoped to purge him this offseason, they’ll be forced to look elsewhere.
Jake Pavorsky is a Contributor for Rant Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @JakePavorsky.