Alexander Edler is popping back up in trade rumors, and this time is being connected to the Detroit Red Wings. The Fourth Period is reporting that Detroit general manager Ken Holland has continued to pursue the veteran defenseman, and has been discussing a possible deal with Vancouver since last summer.
The two teams were close to finalizing a deal for Edler before his new contract extension kicked in on July 1, but were unable to reach an agreement. The Vancouver Province reported on the possible deal at the end of November. As per their report:
A deal to the Detroit Red Wings was considered, and close enough, but was snuffed when the asking price was too rich for Ken Holland. The Canucks wanted four pieces in return, one of which was a first-round draft pick. But the Wings weren’t even sure about giving up three, so considering four was a non-starter, killing the deal.
Reaching an agreement before July 1 was significant because Edler’s new contract included a no-trade clause. Now the defenseman must give the OK to any deal before the Canucks can move forward with any trade. (Sound familiar?)
It’s unclear at this juncture whether or not Vancouver’s asking price for Edler has deflated at all. Detroit has a glut of forwards that they could be willing to move under the right circumstances, but it’d be shocking to see Holland part with his 2014 first-round selection. The Red Wings have been taken apart by injuries all season long, and their two-plus decades long playoff streak is still up in the air.
Detroit has been trying to fill the void left by Nicklas Lidstrom and Brian Rafalski for a while now, and isn’t likely to make a knee-jerk trade out of nowehre.
Worth considering is the fact that Edler has struggled mightily under the John Tortorella regime. The 27-year-old is typically good for 25 to 30 points while playing steady defense. He’s on pace to finish the year with a minus-31 rating though and is on pace for his lowest point total (23) since his first full season in the NHL.