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[Article] Gallagher: Edler might be the price of NHL lockout for Canucks

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As if we needed one more reason to be depressed by this lockout....

Gallagher: Edler might be the price of NHL lockout for Canucks

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday that everything was off the table as far as the league’s offer to the players is considered, but far more often than not this is never the case.

Negotiations pick up more or less where they left off, and if both sides want to get a deal done, that’s likely to happen in this case as well.

So if this turns out to be the case, the clause whereby free agency remains exactly the same as it was in the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement has a pretty significant affect on the Vancouver Canucks.

On the surface it means au revoir Alex Edler at the end of this very shortened season unless he’s willing to take a Prince William haircut.

If there is no season, Vancouver fans might never see the guy in a Canucks uniform again. After all, the team is up against the ceiling of the salary cap which is certainly not going to rise regardless of how the negotiations turn out, and most likely it will shrink considerably depending upon how this “make whole” provision will actually be brought to bear in the final analysis.

There is one caveat here. If they go ahead with the amnesty idea which is floating about which would allow the Canucks to dump the contract of Keith Ballard, it would immediately liberate $4.2 million in cap space.

If it’s run the way the NBA amnesty clause worked, Ballard would become a free agent and when he is signed by another team — pretend it’s for $1 million a year — the Canucks would still have to top up the man’s salary by $3.2 million per season with real dollars, but nothing would count against the Vancouver cap. That’s a guess because the NHL may have a different variation.

But that could give Vancouver some wiggle room to perhaps avoid what would otherwise be a devastating blow to their chances of competing for a Cup beyond this season. While other teams would also be up against cap constraints, many teams stand to pick up much more room than Vancouver through that same amnesty clause, so some will be in that much better shape to take a run at what would be a highly sought after defender, particularly if he’s able to put down another pro-rated 50-point season.

But it’s more complicated than that. First of all, GM Mike Gillis and his financial cohort Laurence Gilman handle cap issues as well as anyone in the game. They’re always confident they can sign anyone no matter how dire the situation might seem. And with these two guys you know they’ll have a plan of some kind to keep the guy.

But wait. Is he worth keeping here? As Canuck fans will remember, Edler had back surgery a couple of years back and now we find out that he is on the receiving end of a cheque during this lockout because of a phantom back injury. And we say “phantom” because he finished the season last year playing in all the playoff games, although perhaps that’s one explanation as to why his play was so abysmal as the Canucks crashed and burned in the first round. The question is, how is his back going to react when he gets hit again, and how much of a factor is this back going to play in his future?

The truly cynical might be thinking that perhaps the Canucks have figured out a nice little way of circumnavigating the constraining cap by slipping the good fellow his $3.25 million salary this year as a wink-wink down payment on what they would hope to offer him when they can next negotiate. But forget that.

As devious and amusing and helpful as that idea might seem, it’s far too risky. If they got found out, Bettman’s head might explode, and who knows how draconian the penalty might be. So the safest assumption here is that Edler has indeed been dealing with an ongoing injury.

Gillis and Gilman will no doubt express confidence at being able to re-sign Edler one way or another, as they’ve been able to get players to buy into what they’ve been trying to do here in the past. But they lost Euro D’s Mattias Ohlund, Christian Ehrhoff and Sami Salo, all of whom they thought they might be able to keep. But when some team comes along to lavish enormous coin on their respective bank accounts, these guys couldn’t resist, and who could blame them?

There’s bound to be a lot of twists and turns before this one ends. But if they lose Edler, or this injury causes him to lose the effectiveness we’ve come to associate with this stud, he’s going to terribly difficult to replace.

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That useless tool has to have something to mumble about just to feel part of things. Hasn't he heard that Danny Sedin has suffered from reoccuring headaches all summer?

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Words can't describe how pissed I would be if we lost Edler due to the lockout...

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Words can't describe how pissed I would be if we lost Edler due to the lockout...

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Edler's on the IR so that GMMG and Gilman can keep piling cash on him this "season" and hope that 23 returns the favour in the future.

Genius.

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Words can't describe how pissed I would be if we lost Edler due to the lockout...

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ctually, most of us were involved with Edler threads in the summer and many of us came to the conclusion he did not want the 4.65mil and thought he was entitled to more.

I suggested we trade him quickly to a team prepared to pay him his 6 mil or whatever his agent thinks he was worth, but the Canucks did not thinking for sure they could get him to sign.

Sept 15th came around and guess what? No extension. No trade. So now we got a guy who will certainly become a UFA and we will have to overpay him to re sign him or let him walk.

Sucks to be in this position.

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Sure, Edler's been having back injuries which could affect his performance, and he COULD get signed away like Ehrhoff by people throwing money at him. however, I'd wait until the whole goalie situation gets figured out, including the return to come, and what happens to Ballard (he'd only be paid real dollars but not in cap space so there's $4.2M more to work with) before believing that he would in fact be at risk for leaving the team (it could very well happen but til then let's not stress ourselves out).

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Words can't describe how pissed I would be if we lost Edler due to the lockout...

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Edler didn't sign a contract for the past few months for a reason. He will pull an Erhoff and go play for bigger money elsewhere. We have an internal cap on defenseman, other teams do not.

For example, Detroit has been trying desperately to replace Lidstrom. They lost out on Suter, and then on Weber. Analysts are saying they are eyeing Edler now. I wouldn't be surprised if they offered him 6.75-7 million per year long-term. Canucks simply won't match that.

It is common knowledge that Gallagher is in Gillis' pocket. This article doesn't surprise me at all. Expect to see more of this as the lockout continues. Gillis wants to temper the fan base's emotions on Edler's eventual free agency.

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We will find a way to keep this kid. He likes Vancouver and does not want to leave. The only way we will lose him is if his agent demands Webber money.

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Canucks lose Edler, they are in some deep trouble on the backend. There really are a lot of Canucks fans who do not fully understand how terrific their team is. I sat through 41 Jets home games last season (ok, not the home opener or Leafs Dec 31st, sold them), and although the atmosphere was terrific, the team had such pathetic chemistry; at least compared to that of the Canucks.

Watching the Canucks work together is honestly a treat that Vancouver fans certainly can take for granted from time to time. Even my wife, who knows little about hockey, has mentioned the difference between how together the Canucks system is compared to other teams.

Edler could easily get $6 million on the open market. If he's healthy, the Canucks would be absolutely brain dead to let him walk. As a Jets fan, we don't have room for another top 4 d-man as they are all young and developing together. However, if Edler became available, they would be foolish not to try and sign him.

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The G Man must've looked at our upcoming UFA's.

Edler is fairly down the list of prominent ones around the NHL, actually.

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If this happens the NHL won't get a dime from me until Bettman is fired.

I've already sworn not to go this year even if it returns.

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If that buyout amnesty clause goes through then I bet we keep Edler by buying out Ballard. You can find far cheaper and more reliable guys willing to take bottom pair minutes.

If we can't sign Edler and we theoretically get deep into the playoffs then things become complicated. It's rumoured that free agency would begin on June 15th, or 48 hours after the SCF. If we end up going that deep, then it leaves us a very small window in which to determine whether we can sign or have to deal Edler. If we have to deal Edler with pending free agency around the bend then we likely won't get much. So my assumption is then that Gillis would ideally move Edler before the deadline assuming Edler did not show interest in re-signing here.

The return? Well that's a discussion for a different thread. I think it's safe to say that a young 50 point D-man like Edler could land you a significant return.

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The G Man must've looked at our upcoming UFA's.

Edler is fairly down the list of prominent ones around the NHL, actually.

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