Alex Edler among four Canucks invited to All-Star Game; was he the right choice?

On January 11, 2011, Alex Edler was left off the All-Star ballot, and he took it hard. Edler channeled his secret rage into a major production increase, scoring 7 points in his next 8 games, but the rage, like Tony Stark’s arc reactor, ate away at his body from the inside, and a week later, he had to undergo surgery to repair damage in his back. Tru fakt*.

In any case, there will be no rage-induced hot streak/back explosion this year, as Edler, along with Henrik and Daniel Sedin, has been named to the 2012 All-Star Game. Cody Hodgson’s been invited as a rookie representative as well. That sound you heard is Tony Gallagher loading up the typewriter for a piece criticizing the management of Hodgson’s All-Star weekend icetime.

For the record, don’t cry over Ryan Kesler not being invited back. Like Alain Vigneault shrugging his shoulders at missing out on a trip to Ottawa with the loss in Florida, Kesler’s taking this in stride, especially since, speaking of strides, he now gets a much-needed opportunity to improve his through rest. Considering he came back from groin surgery early, I’m sure he could use some more recuperation time.

Plus the first All-Star invite is the one that matters. From then on, you’re an All-Star, and the players care far more about that lifelong distinction than playing in the game every year. That in mind, let’s get back to Alex Edler.

Edler’s invitation is an interesting one. For years, he’s been touted as a future All-Star and possible future Norris candidate, so it shouldn’t be all that surprising to see him reach the next level. He leads Canuck defensemen in scoring with 30 points, which is also good for fourth in the entire NHL among blueliners.

In short, Edler’s not undeserving of the distinction. But if you were to poll 100 Vancouver fans as to who the best Canuck defenceman has been this year, Edler would only get about a third of the votes.

The remaining two-thirds would go to either Dan Hamhuis or Kevin Bieksa, the two guys that make up the Canucks’ top shutdown pairing. Sure, they don’t have the same number of points (Bieksa has 25, Hamhuis has 21, which still puts both in the top 25 for NHL D-man scoring), but they play more minutes, see far less less powerplay icetime, and face much tougher defensive assignments. In short, when it comes to actual defending, Edler falls to third on the Canucks’ depth chart.

Yesterday, Puck Daddy released its unofficial All-Star game roster, and Kevin Bieksa, not Alex Edler, got the nod. It’s worth noting that Greg Wyshynski and co. have somewhat different criteria, however, factoring star power into the mix. If it was a close race between Hamhuis, Bieksa, and Edler before, Bieksa obviously gets a slight nod the moment you incorporate marketability. Edler’s so shy that, were we a smaller man, he’d be known for hiding in cabinets.

On those grounds, Dan “Community Man” Hamhuis is never getting an All-Star nod, which is a shame because, for my money, he’s been the steadiest Canucks’ defenceman for well over a year now. Problem is, everything the Community Man does is quiet. When the only thing more understated than one’s on-ice contributions is one’s off-ice demeanor, getting noticed is gonna be tough.

All of this is to say the Canucks have three very good defenseman, and their ranking order depends entirely on criteria. Lucky for Alex Edler, the All-Star Game’s criteria is weighted to offensive contributions. That in mind, regardless of whether he’s the most deserving Canuck defenseman, he remains deserving nontheless. Congratulations to him and the rest of the Canuck All-Star invites.

 

*Tru Fakts are PITB-brand yarns. They are neither true nor facts.

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34 comments

  1. Anonymous
    January 12, 2012

    Not gonna lie I’m surprised Edler’s there and Lidstrom’s not, but still congrats to him!

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    • Harrison Mooney
      January 12, 2012

      I’m gonna guess that Lidstrom privately requested he be excluded.

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    • sarah
      January 12, 2012

      According to Katie Baker’s hockey blog on Grantland, Lindstrom “politely declined because he’s an old man.”

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  2. MaggieLizer
    January 12, 2012

    An Iron Man reference in a PITB article? You’re a man after my own heart.

    Alex Edler might not be the loudest defenseman, but he’s certainly the best at looking like a supermodel http://tinyurl.com/7nex9gv

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  3. TheGilchy
    January 12, 2012

    Shouldn’t the Puck Daddy reference say “Greg Wyshynksi & Mo.”. :)

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  4. nee
    January 12, 2012

    Nice! i didn’t expect us to get 4 invites, and here’s hoping edler beats chara in the hardest shot skills competition! Knowing him thoigh, he’ll break his stick…
    Now edler will be forced to talk to the media a fair bit, which will b nice because he’s so quiet normally.

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  5. J21
    January 12, 2012

    Based on the criteria of who traditionally goes to NHL All-Star Games, it’s not surprising that a guy like Hamhuis wouldn’t be there, and I certainly didn’t expect him to be.

    By contrast, I was all ready to unload on the Twitter-verse in anticipation of an Edler snub — I’m quite pleasantly surprised that he made it, and he deserves it — he’s a pretty awesome defenseman. If he played for an Original Six team or one of the NHL’s darling clubs (largely overlap there, but there are also teams like the Penguins and Flyers in the latter category) he would be there without question, so I’m glad to see him make it. Especially when the idiotic fan votes make the NHL need to squeeze in more deserving guys from more teams into fewer spots.

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  6. vancitydan
    January 12, 2012

    Happy Edler made it…but…

    Gallagher still uses a typewriter?

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    • Harrison Mooney
      January 12, 2012

      Yeah, because, like, he’s old.

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    • Karen
      January 12, 2012

      What do you mean “still”? He just progressed from paper and quill last year!

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  7. Bigjohnstudd
    January 12, 2012

    I get that he’s the third-best d-man on the team, but I think selecting defencemen on defensive merit for this game of pond-shinny would seriously go against ASG tradition. That tradition being: having at least one team finish in the double-digits for goals scored. KB3 would want to be out there throwing hits and face-washing guys. He hasn’t the proper demeanour for this exhibition.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      January 12, 2012

      Ha. Sure he is. Have you see his upright stance? Nobody takes it easy like Juice.

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    • Zach Morris
      January 12, 2012

      Dan Girardi is a defensive defenceman, and he has 5 pts this season.

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  8. Amor de Cosmos
    January 12, 2012

    Of the three Hamhuis shades it for me. He’s got a slightly tougher job than Edler, having to cover for the out of position prone Bieksa, he also doesn’t rack up the PP points like they do which adds to his invisiblity. Edler also has very scary lapses, not many and they’re brief, but like Big Lulu trying to play the puck you’re heart’s in your mouth when they happen.

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  9. Amor de Cosmos
    January 12, 2012

    Of the three Hamhuis shades it for me. He’s got a slightly tougher job than Edler, having to cover for the out of position prone Bieksa, he also doesn’t rack up the PP points like they do which adds to his invisiblity. Edler also has very scary lapses, not many and they’re brief, but like Big Lulu trying to play the puck your heart’s in your mouth when they happen.

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    • Harrison Mooney
      January 12, 2012

      Hey Amor, did you know your namesake is considered the father of porn in California? While he was down there for the gold rush, he must have gotten real lonely, because he was the first guy to suggest using photography to take naked pictures of women. Now everyone does it!

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      • Amor de Cosmos
        January 12, 2012

        I have to admit I didn’t know that, many thanks. I can’t honestly say I’m surprised. The man was, if nothing else, majestically versatile.

        (apologies for the previous double-post, I was searching for an edit button.)

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      • tom selleck's moustache
        January 12, 2012

        Learn something new everyday.

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    • Zach Morris
      January 12, 2012

      hey Amor, did you know your namesake had a fear of electricity?

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      • Amor de Cosmos
        January 12, 2012

        That one I did know. But thanks for bringing it up, introducing his attributes to a wider audience is always worthwhile.

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  10. Nicky
    January 12, 2012

    I was hoping he would make it. NOt really suprise the fact that Lidstrom did not want to go. He been their and done it. Manny time. He probably wanted take a break and spend time with family. Now edler work hard to become the player is he today. Hard work pay off, and funny enough he will be even better next year.

    Only thing is that I worried about his next contract. I know it next year. But what if he become next ehrhoff?

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    • Nick
      January 12, 2012

      My thoughts exactly. Edler is potentially going to be expensive to resign, will probably be offered at least what Erhoff got once he’s a UFA, and I’ve had mixed feelings about him having offensive success and honours in this, his contract year.

      I’m not exactly hoping for it, but a little bit of an Edler scoring slump like the one he’s having lately only helps Vancouver to get him to stay for reasonable $.

      As pointed out on PITB analyses, Edler is not the same defenseman when he has to play without Sami. That may keep his numbers lower and make it more likely that he wants to stay for less. For what it’s worth, Swedes have a reputation for wanting to stick with their team come contract time.

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  11. JDM
    January 12, 2012

    Not gonna lie, in my estimation Kimmo Timmonen was the biggest headscratcher on the defensive side. How is Logan Couture there ahead of Kesler, Nash and Staal? Granted the latter two aren’t having great seasons but star power gets you somewhere; see Ovechkin over Backstrom. Hell, how is Logan Couture there over Thornton and Marleau and Burns? Has to be a situation where the big names opted out.

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    • shoes
      January 12, 2012

      Thorton and Marleau are suntanning in California….they like to get in shape for golfing season early….

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  12. madwag
    January 12, 2012

    mr. mooney: not congratulations “to he”! what we need is an object of the preposition; hence “him” is correct. otherwise well done, sir. cheers.

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    • JS Topher
      January 12, 2012

      If you are going to point out someone’s flaws, could you please, at the very least, capitalize the letters at the beginning of your sentences?

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      • madwag
        January 12, 2012

        not likely, being as i was schooled by ee cummings and lawrence ferlinghetti. mr. mooney understands. “at the very least”? what else is bothering you? at least two things, please, to justify “leaset”.

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        • madwag
          January 12, 2012

          “least”

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        • JS Topher
          January 13, 2012

          The “least” being that you capitalize your beginning sentences. The most, being that you not troll the entries for grammatical errors at all. While I’m not an expert on language myself, and I admittingly do not know who Lawrence Ferlinghetti is, I am quite sure that E.E. Cummings’ used terrible punctuation and only *occassionally* used lowercase letters in his name as a show of humility. Maybe humility is a trait which, we could all use a little more.

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  13. Brosef Stalin
    January 12, 2012

    You are all clearly forgetting the Canuck who should’ve been included in this ASG: Aaron Rome

    Can’t believe the NHL didn’t put him on the ballot coming in. Are they serious?

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    • stathead
      January 12, 2012

      Remember: the NHL hates Aaron Rome. (Wasn’t there a PITB on this somewhere?)

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  14. akidd
    January 12, 2012

    not to be too cynical but funny how the league chose the guy who’ll be negoatiating his contract next year. i think edler’s great and deserving and all but seeings the all-star game is mostly just nhl war-chest loot i’d prefer that everyone got a rest instead.

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  15. Dawg
    January 13, 2012

    Edlers surgery, micro dyscectomy, is actually shaving of a vertebrae so that the bone no longer pinches the sciatic nerve which causes shooting pain down the legs

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    • Harrison Mooney
      January 13, 2012

      You mean they aren’t draining his inflamed back muscles of liquid rage?

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