Found April 28, 2012 on NorthWest Sports Beat:
Rear-guard reaches career tipping point

We have all been guilty of fantasizing about it for a long time. I’m not talking about landing millions of dollars in an unexpected lottery jackpot, scoring a date with Sofia Vergara, or even squeezing a straight answer out of coach Alain Vigneault.

What we have all been dreaming of is seeing Alex Edler confidently assume the role of the undisputed premier blue liner for The Vancouver Canucks.

Team supporters have long mused that Edler would develop into a perennial Norris Trophy candidate.

That fantasy though is looking much less certain at this point following a troubled playoff run.

His skills are undeniable, and at times he tantalizes members of the organization with his jaw dropping hits and heavy shot, but the quiet Swede too frequently shoots himself in the foot with awful giveaways and inopportune penalties.

The series versus LA featured back to back games wherein Edler’s overly casual puck handling led to game changing goals for the Kings. Both goals have been dissected ad nauseum in the press and on the internets, with good reason.

They are the kind of casual elementary level errors that an elite player cannot afford to make if he wants to lead his team to ultimate glory.

edler 5 Can the Canucks Alex Edler ever be a number one defenseman?

Can he be a #1 D-Man? (Photo - Jeff Vinnick/NHL/Getty Images)

The standard for all Swedish defensemen to be measured against is the Detroit Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom.

He does not have all the physical blessings bestowed upon Edler, but through the years he has maintained a steady and commanding presence on the Detroit blue line borne of determination and steely emotion.

Lidstrom has extracted every ounce of his ability and pours it into his play as efficiently as anyone who has ever played the game.

This is where Alex Edler falters. His calmness is an asset to a point, but without that fire and focus in his game, he appears to not be able to set and embrace a personal standard for himself. Emotion can be a fine edged sword.

Too much of it can lead to rash decisions, too little inhibits us from reaching our potential.

In this off-season of turmoil, GM Mike Gillis and the management of the Canucks will be evaluating all facets of the team, looking for ways to improve the roster to attain that final goal.

Rumour is already circulating that beyond Roberto Luongo, other prominent names such as David Booth and even Ryan Kesler will be discussed and proposed for movement and the returns they could bring.

It is not unreasonable that Edler’s name will be thrown into the mix.

The surprise trade of Cody Hodgson made it clear that no Canuck player’s name should be considered off the board in this era.

There is time for Edler to find his way, as he just turned 26 last week.

But that also makes him the same age as Shea Weber, who is currently dragging his team by the scruff of its neck towards a likely place in the Finals.

Given the choice of having either Edler or Weber at this point, I believe that Canucks fans would increasingly prefer the current Predator over the Swedish rear-guard.


© C-Mac for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share on Facebook

Post tags: Alain Vigneault, Alex Edler, blueline, Canucks, Cody Hodgson, David Booth, defense, defenseman, detroid red wings, LA Kings, nick lidstrom, off-season, ostersund, Playoffs, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Kesler, Sweden, vancouver, Vancouver Canucks


“The Flying V” tackles five key Canucks questions for the 2012 offseason

Just Get It Right! After a shocking and unexpected loss in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Vancouver Canucks find themselves packing up their lockers in April, unable to push through to a second round of summer hockey. As a pivotal off-season approaches, the Canucks and their fans can feel the winds of change blow through Vancouver, but who will be in a different...

Roberto Luongo is ready to pack his stuff

Canucks goaltender Robert Luongo sounds resigned from moving on from scenic Vancouver this summer.“I don't want to be one of those guys who is going to stand in the way of anything,” Luongo told reporters. “I always want to put the team ahead of me first and I don't want to be one of those selfish guys.”He has 10 years left on his epic 12-year, $64-million contract...

Goaltending gets attention, but Canucks' bigger concern is offense

How did the Vancouver Canucks go from being Stanley Cup finalists one year to first-round flops the next? Many would like to believe the Canucks' early playoff exit was all about bad goaltending. Roberto Luongo, public enemy No. 1, was benched after the Canucks lost the first two games. Cory Schneider took his place, performed exceptionally well most of the time, and will take...

Trading Luongo: Easier Said Than Done?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how difficult will it be to trade Roberto Luongo for proper value? I'm not expecting the moon out of a trade, but now that the league knows he's on the block, I feel like it could become very difficult to move him for a fair return.

Mike Augello: Luongo Deal…Salary In,Salary Out; Second Round Predictions

TSN’s Darren Dreger gave his take on the interest Vancouver’s Roberto Luongo will draw from NHL clubs in need of goaltending upgrade, concluding that the return that GM Mike Gillis will get will be less than first thought and that for the Canucks to get anything significant back for the 33 year old netminder, they may have to take back a sizeable contract from their trading...

Conspiracy theory and the return of obstruction, interference and bafflingly uncalled infractions

The Vancouver Province’s Tony Gallagher offers up quite the conspiracy theory this morning, and while you and I might not agree that the NHL is actively conspiring against the Vancouver Canucks and/or any and all teams which do not espouse Boston Bruins-style pugnaciousness and an ability to keep up with clutch-and-grab style hockey, but Gallagher makes a very astute point in suggesting...

Top 5 destinations for Roberto Luongo

Welcome to Center Ice Chat’s Top 5, an irregular series rounding the ranks of the best, or the worst, in the NHL. Today, we take a look at the Top 5 destinations for Roberto Luongo to request a trade. With Cory Schneider’s stellar performance despite the Vancouver Canucks loss to the Los Angeles Kings, it’s been announced that Luongo is wiling to part ways with...

Richard Cloutier: Luongo an Oiler?...and Other Rumors

So I get a Twitter message today saying Roberto Luongo has made a short-list of teams he's willing to go to, and the Oilers were on the list. There are all sorts of problems with this last sentence: 1. Roberto Luongo has not submitted a list yet. 2. The Canucks are denying that they've asked Luongo to submit a list. 3. Even if Luongo did make a list, it's doubtful...

Dissecting the 2011-12 Canucks Carcass – By Vincent

Vincent is a mysterious friend of Rob The Hockey Guy. He fights crime by night, so we won’t reveal his last name. He is @stuff99 on Twitter. Hi everyone, I am writing this blog as I listen to the Game of Thrones theme song in a circular loop. This makes blog writing sound even more epic than it already is. This is my first blog entry so go easy on me. Just pretend you’re AV...

Burrows to play for Team Canada at World Championships

The World Hockey Championship came calling for Alex Burrows the forward on the Canucks. And he has accepted the call to play for Team Canada. I'm sure the Canucks organizational brass prefer its players rest and enjoy the summer, but these guys are also competitive by nature, and in light of a poor early exit from the playoffs I guess Burrows wants to play some more hockey...

Video- Don Cherry Talks Caps/Bruins Game 7 And Roberto Luongo

Those two topics are the highlights of Coach’s Corner tonight.

Ian Esplen: 7 Spots for Lu

Follow me on Twitter for random hockey talk, question and answer sessions, and the odd witty tweet Twitter Buttons Today I will look at the seven most likely destinations for Roberto Luongo. A lot of fans out there seem to think that Luongo is virtually untradeable because of his long-term contract. But I don’t see that being the case. Roberto is still, in many people’s...

Ian Esplen: Coaches

Follow me on Twitter for random hockey talk, question and answer sessions, and the odd witty tweet Twitter Buttons Yesterday I said that I think that The Canucks should let Alain Vigneault go, not because of what he has done, but rather because of what he hasn't done. I believe that firing him would be the biggest risk that the Canucks take this summer, but firing him may...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.