There are dozens of people on Twitter claiming to be NHL insiders, with sources inside every organization. They’re essentially all frauds and charlatans. The only trustworthy sources of information are generally guys like Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie, who keep in touch with a vast array of contacts around the league and whose reputations are on the line every time they make a call.
But there’s one Twitter account that has repeatedly beat the mainstream media to the punch on several signings related to the Canucks and clearly has a source deep inside the organization: @GMMikeGillis. This anonymous insider doesn’t tweet much, but he also hasn’t been wrong about a signing yet – an impressive track record.
Friday night, @GMMikeGillis broke the news that the Vancouver Canucks have re-signed defenceman Alex Edler, well before it was tweeted out by the likes of Pierre LeBrun and Nick Kypreos. As I’m writing this, Dreger and McKenzie haven’t even reported on the signing yet, an impressive coup.
I’d like to congratulate Alex Edler on agreeing to terms on a new multi-year deal. Details to follow.
— Mike Gillis (@GMMikeGillis) January 19, 2013
Gillis has a grand total of 64 tweets since joining Twitter over two years ago, but he evidently hasn’t forgotten his password. After an initial flurry of tweets in his first couple months, the Canucks GM appeared to slowly lose interest. His tweet about Edler was just his second since August 7, 2012.
I believe this is the third Canucks signing that Gillis has broken personally on Twitter, announcing the signing of Nicklas Jensen back in September, 2011 and the re-signing of Cory Schneider in June.
According to Pierre LeBrun, the Edler deal is for 6 years, $30 million, for an average cap hit of $5 million per year. That makes him the most highly-paid defenceman on the roster, giving the Canucks a very expensive blueline in 2013-14, when the salary cap comes down to $64.3 million. The Edler re-signing makes it almost certain that Keith Ballard will be an amnesty buyout for the Canucks in the summer, unless he has a strong season this year that gives him value in a trade.
Odd as it may seem, it can be easy to forget who Edler is when we see him night in and night out the way we do. $5 million per year is a screaming deal for a multi-talented defenceman like Edler, who could have gotten a lot more in free agency in the summer, even with the falling cap. He had a career-high 49 points last season and has consistently scored more than 30 points over the last four seasons. He has one of the hardest shots in the league and also has great vision and passing ability. He’s also solid defensively and can hit like a Mack truck.
The only issue with Edler is his consistency. As I suggested during the summer, Edler has a wide array of superpowers, like Superman, but seems to only use one of them at a time, like Ultra Boy. Compare him to someone like Shea Weber, who also scored 49 points last season, has one of the best shots in the league, can pass the puck extremely well, plays great defence, and is physically destructive with his hits.
That sounds a lot like my description of Edler above, but there’s a reason that Weber commands a salary over $7.8 million per season and Edler doesn’t. Weber is consistent, and also a little bit better at every individual skill. Edler has the ability, or rather the abilities, to be a dominant number one defenceman, just short of someone like Weber, but he has to put it all together at the same time.
But that’s comparing him to one of the best defencemen in the league. What about more one-dimensional offensive defencemen? Last season, Brian Campbell scored 53 points and Dan Boyle scored 48. Although they’re older, they’re still fairly comparable to Edler in terms of offensive production. Campbell is making over $7 million per season. Boyle is making over $6.6 million.
Or you can compare him to someone like Matt Carle, as Greg Wyshynski did over at Puck Daddy. Carle got $5.5 million per season from the Tampa Bay Lightning this summer. Carle is a solid defenceman, with a career high of 42 points back in 2006-07 with the San Jose Sharks, but he’s definitely not at the level of Edler and is making $500,000 more per season.
It’s extremely exciting to know that Edler will be with the Canucks for at least another 6 seasons after this one is over, especially at just a $5 million cap hit. That kind of contract will make Laurence Gilman’s job a lot easier in the future.
Or, as Bulie @timmywong11 put it:
Tags: alex edler