I think you've gotta ask yourself 2 questions:
1) Is Edler a long term interest for the Canucks
2) Does Edler's value fit within the pay roll structure of the Canucks?
I think Edler is a long term interest for the Canucks. He is coming into his prime, has the ability to be a consistent 40+ point D man and although he has had his gaffe's he is still a quality defender. He did have a miserable playoff last season but c'mon people the guy is human- human error is a reality so live and let learn. For the most part he has been quite reliable (people tend to forget just how good along the boards Edler really is). Put it this way, of all the Canucks D (including Hamhuis) I still would be confident in Edler's play in all situations.
I could see him getting signed to a 4-6 year contract. Value wise, I think the reality is Edler is easily worth 5.5 million a season if not more if some teams are willing to over pay. If the Canucks sign him long term, tthe mutual benefit could be the cap hit coming down a bit i.e 5.2 to 5.3 million. Still, it's a big chunk of money but you need proven top 4 D.
The real question is whether Edler can justify his earnings. If he play's as well as he has so far, then yes, his contract is worth it. Solid D wins cups. If Edler can up his game similar to how the Sedins upped their game after signing their contracts, then he could be a steal of a signing in comparison to other premier NHL Defensemen.
What I'm curious about is how well he can play with Garrison. 2 big guys that if they can play a solid shut down game AND put up some numbers, the Canucks could feasibly have a 1A and 1B type D pairing on most teams (Hamhuis/Bieksa & Edler/Garrison). Not to say either pairing is best in the league in terms of individual pairs, but taken as a whole it could be exactly the step the Canucks back end needs to take to win a cup.
OK now I'm excited! F this lockout and let's get some hockey going!!!!
I think a large part of Edler's problem was the lack of a consistent partner and him having to play too many minutes. (On a lot nights, Edler played 25 minutes a game.)
It should be better this year. Garrison is a very reliable D-man who is capable of playing lots and lots of minutes in a top-pairing situation. Tanev was playing top four minutes at the end of last season and did very well in a shut down role when the canucks had that little streak at the end. Ballard was also playing better this past season and we should see a steady impovement.
When healthy, our d-score is very very well balanced. This will change once injuries start to mount.
I think there are great reasons to leave the top shut down role to Hamhuis, and scoring roles to Edler. Edler is a better passer, has the offensive instincts and both quick and big shots. What I don't get, power play aside, is why invest Garrison with Edler 5 on 5?
Garrison would add shot blocking and battle in front of the net defensively. But not puck rushing, so the pair would still have shortcomings and therefore would not be a true 27 min a game workhorse pair. I suggest the best role for Edler is a primary offensive zone start role, like and with the Twins, paired with another great passer (Tanev) who is also good position-ally). It makes good limited use of Tanev, who by the way is waaay to small for any shut down role. Anybody who did not see him get hammered in the first period of the LA series with Hamhuis should not be posting, nor suggesting such a role. And then bring up Garrison with Edler for a second big shot on the PP!
Garrison with Ballard could be both our secondary scoring D pair and secondary shut down pair. It would also give Ballard a stay at home guy so he could have the freedom (which he had matched with Bowmeister in Florida) to rush the puck and play a creative game. As noted in the next response below, we also need to ice a pair which has a guy who can carry the puck out of pressure on the fore check. This pair both block shots, offer size at 212 and 220 lbs, Garrison has the shot, Ballard amazing wheels and would have the best physical tools of all our pairs. Playing against second tier match ups these two could a dynamic weapon!
These pairings would provide natural roles for all our guys, and manage minutes to keep guys fresh.
Edler / Tanev primary offensive shifts
Hamhuis / Bieksa primary shut down pair, also top PK
Ballard / Garrison secondary O' shifts and D' shifts
Edler / Garrison fearsome top PP! And no reason you could not double shift Garrison, throwing him and Edler out together with the Twins after a an icing; where we get an offensive draw against a puff'd match up.
At this point of his career, his next contract will NOT be based on potential. I think we have a pretty good idea of what we have in Edler. He's a # 1-2 offensive D-man capable of putting up 40-50 points/yr consistently when playing with a talented offensive team. He'll also show flashes of physicality that make you wonder why he isn't one of the top 5 D-men in the NHL. But then he'll go on 5-10 game droughts where he plays like a rookie that's afraid to carry the puck, completely forgetting about the physical side of the game and the fact that he has a 95 mile an hour slap shot! Just goes to show how much of this game is mental. So as good as he is, he always leaves you wanting more.
These 2 points illustrate the difference between Edler and a true Norris calibre guy.
It does not mean Edler is not a superb player, just missing 1 or 2 elements of the truly elite. One, while he hits (sometimes a ton, see LA series 3 years ago), he does not move bodies from in front of the net or punish guys who battle to get there. But those open ice hits are thrilling. Two, while very talented passing and shooting the puck, he is not a puck carrying / rushing defender. So we remain at risk to the fore check if the teams (see this years LA series in a big way) can aggressively pressure and clog the outlet pass. We need a guy with the speed to break through gaps before pressure arrives and haul the puck up ice as attackers circle. So he either needs the right partner who compliments and provides these skills, or just the right role which shields us because these skills are not on offer.
See intermediate response above.
Edited by Canuck Surfer, 10 September 2012 - 03:54 PM.