According to a report from NEWS 1130 and Sportsnet 650 analyst Rick Dhaliwal, veteran Vancouver Canucks defenceman Alex Edler will NOT be in play at this year’s trade deadline:
Dhaliwal reports that Elder has not and will not be asked to waive his no-trade for the purposes of being moved at this year’s deadline.
Sportsnet broadcaster and Canucks beat reporter Dan Murphy confirmed Dhaliwal's report:
Murphy would then go on to explain Edler's rationale: he has two young children in school and is married to a Vancouver-native. At this point in his career and his life, moving does not make sense for his family.
Fan reaction, as you may expect, has been decidedly mixed. Many Canucks fans are calling for a rebuild, but with the recent extension given out to fellow Canucks blue liner Erik Gudbranson earlier this week, a rebuild doesn’t seem to be a priority for Canucks management.
The 31-year-old Edler has actually had a bit of a bounce back season with the Canucks under rookie head coach Travis Green. It's no secret that former Canucks head coach Willie Desjardins and Edler could never quite see eye to eye, but under Green the veteran blue liner is having a much better season. While Edler had just two goals this season, he's on pace to have his best offensive season in four years.
In his 11th season now with the club, the 6'3", 215 pound Swede is set to hit unrestricted free-agency when his $5 million annual contract expires following next season. Expect him to be a MAJOR trade chip for the Canucks next season if they once again find themselves out of the Stanley Cup Playoff picture.
Grabner on the move?
In other trade deadline news, it appears as though former Canucks draft pick Michael Grabner could be on the move. In fact, TSN's Pierre LeBrun reports that a deal could go down as early as today:
According to a report earlier this week from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey, the Pittsburgh Penguins are targeting the New York Rangers speedster:
Mackey confirms that the Penguins have “expressed interest” in acquiring the 30-year-old speedster, but no word yet on what the Rangers may be seeking in return. For what it’s worth, Grabner is a pending unrestricted free-agent on a cheap deal. His $1.65 million salary should fit nicely under the salary cap for the Penguins. But again… what’s the ask?
If the Rangers are intent on holding out for a 1st round pick or a top prospect like Daniel Sprong, Penguins GM Jim Rutherford would be smart to avoid any conversations with Rangers GM Jeff Gorton. If, however, Grabner could be had for a mid-round pick, say a 3rd, 4th or 5th rounder, then giddy up!
Unfortunately, according to Mackey, it appears as if the Rangers are intent on maximizing their return and that means holding out for a top pick:
There’s a natural concern that the Rangers might not want to deal within the Metropolitan Division or to a competitor. But the source indicated they’re probably most interested in maximizing return, which is believed to involve a first-round draft pick in some capacity.
In 59 games with the Rangers this season, the Austrian native has a stellar 25 goals and 31 assists. He’s a unique player in that he can fill the net regularly, but is almost entirely bereft of any playmaking ability. If Rutherford can’t figure out how to make an Evander Kane trade with the Buffalo Sabres, Grabner could be an adequate replacement.