At the start of the season, before Canucks fans knew they would be surprised and impressed by the young talent in Vancouver, Jason Brough of The Athletic revealed that veteran players like Brandon Sutter and Alexander Elder could become trade candidates this season. While Sutter would be a tough sell on the trade market with his $4.375-million cap hit through 2020-21 with a full no-trade clause this season, Elder could bring forth a lot of interest and a much better return from rival clubs.
Brough had even hinged that the veteran defenseman would be willing to waive his no-trade clause to accept a move elsewhere. There is a known destination now; the Pittsburgh Penguins, and we wonder now if this is a team Edler would agree to waive his no-trade clause to ended up with the club.
Rival teams have been listening and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman has revealed that 13 scouts were present on Monday at the Canucks' game. While the insider mentioned that it could be because of the light schedule of games that night, he still believes these teams were looking at Edler, the most attractive trade bait in Vancouver.
“I do think teams are watching Edler this year. From what I understand, Edler is a pretty heavily-scouted player this year. Everybody knows what the situation is, that he is in the last year of his contract and whether he wants to stay in Vancouver or not, it doesn’t sound like there’s been a lot of talk with him about an extension, at least with his representatives, explained Friedman on the air of Sportsnet's 650 in Vancouver.
“I flipped a note out there, I haven’t heard anything about it. But I think it’s pretty safe to say there hasn’t been much talk, if any. So what says is the Canucks at least are thinking of, ‘Can we get something for this player, and we’ll deal with this down the road.’
Recently, the Fourth Period editor in chief David Pagnotta revealed that Edler remains on the radar of several teams out there and the Pittsbught Penguins are amongst teams buzzing around the veteran blue liner.
“So I do think there’s a lot of teams that are looking at him and watching him and saying, ‘If he becomes available,’ they want to at least be aware of what they’re looking at this year. I mean, the guy is playing a lot of minutes. I know there’s a big debate out there right now about whether or not these are effective minutes or not, but I think there’s going to be a lot of teams looking at him and saying, ‘Here’s his game right now. Does it fit with us if that’s the way it’s going to go," added Friedman in his analysis.
“The other team, and you guys were there last week, I heard some rumblings. I didn’t get an answer on anything, so I don’t know if it’s true or not true. But I do think a team like Pittsburgh would make sense."
Friedman also noted the Tampa Bay Lightning had interest in Edler last season.
The 32-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2019, and the Canucks surely don’t want to lose him for nothing in the summer. They could manage to work out something with Edler, who could simply be looking for another start in the NHL and compete with a Cup contender who might be willing to consider a contract extension after the playoffs.
If he doesn't stay in Vancouver, where would you like Edler to end up?