Is Alex Edler a #1 dman?

Discussion in 'Hockey Talk' started by Die-hard, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. Die-hard

    Die-hard
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    I've seen this debate going on at a few other Canuck sites so I thought I'd weigh in.

    For me, he's absolutely a #1 guy - I don't think there's any doubt about it. He's 2nd in the league in points for a dman, he's big and can hit like a truck, he's got a huge slapshot and he's a very good passer.

    He still makes the odd bonehead play (probably 1 every other game or so) and has the odd off night (probably every 4th-5th game or so), which are 2 strikes against him.

    That said, he's only 25 years old and has improved steadily since entering the league. He continues to get better and hasn't hit his prime yet, probably still a couple of years away.

    If he's not a #1 in your opinion, who is and what's the definition of a #1 dman?
     
  2. Clint27

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    He's one of those guys that you rarely hear about unless you cheer for the team he is playing on. He's definately developing in to a very good player.
     
  3. Sir Rodney

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    My definition of a #1 dman is someone who plays for another team that we'd like to have on our own. We tend to see our own players far more often than the equivalents on those we play. As a result, we see their strengths as well as their deficiencies in far greater clarity. Shea Webber has never made a defensive mistake in his life so we need to trade heaven and earth to get him. I doubt the fans in Nashville would agree on the first part of that statement. Webber's faults would only show up once he arrived in Vancouver and the first goal was scored on us during his shift. Then we'd begin to question why Gillis paid such a huge price for his services when he was no better than Edler in the first place. Sheesh, what the hell was he thinking.
     
  4. m_peroni

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    Offensively he is up there and he took over Ehrhoff's role extremely well. Overall, though, is he a #1 d-man? I think he is not too far from getting that reputation. Looking at just points means that he is having an excellent offensive season, so is Wideman but the guy is a horror show on defense.

    What i like to see more from Edler? Probably the minutes played. He gets just 23 minutes or so on average and i think that prevents him from being that go to guy on defense that you would put out on the ice constantly.

    I mean, Duncan Keith, Shea Weber, Boyle, Karlsson, Suter, Campbell, Letang........ they are playing a ton of minutes and putting up good points and being relied on the ice so many times. I would like to include Dan Girardi in that group, but offensively he is limited to 30 points at most, which is good for a d-man, but not enough to be part of that group.

    Still, Edler is just 25 as you said and we have yet to see him reach the golden prime years of his career. I think we're talking about a big d-man that can play 26+ minutes a game and score 45 points or so a season with a +15 or so.

    This is why i am against the idea for the Canucks to get someone like Weber. Let Edler be that go to guy on D. The blue line offense for the Canucks is doing very well. I can see a better depth d-man, better than Rome and Alberts, be of use for the Canucks.
     
  5. Die-hard

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    Hey Sir,

    Your post made me laugh - made me think of all the younger Canuck fans who bitch and moan about the team not having enough grit, or a bad 4th line RW, or needing a new #7 dman. It's quite hilarious to listen to after the days of Ciccone, Brochu and Jeff Cowan that a lot of us remember very well.

    I'd be all for picking up Weber, but not gutting the team or the payroll to do so. Personally I see him signing a lifetime deal in Nashville this off-season so it's not going to happen. Better off to develop their own young D and keep the program going - Gillis has done very well to this point so I'm not going to sit here and question all his moves.
     
  6. Die-hard

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    Hey Peroni,

    The fact that Edler only plays 23 minutes a night is simply the way the Canucks dole out ice time. They might be the deepest team in the league (Boston can also make a case), one on which the twins only play 18-19 minutes a night unlike the other stars in the league who play up to 25.

    On D, they really spread the icetime around for whatever reason. Edler plays in all situations, though Hamhuis and Bieksa are the shutdown pairing. Edler is average to above average defensively which is what may keep him from being a go to #1 guy like a Weber, Chara, etc.

    For me the Canucks don't need another dman, and that's because they have Chris Tanev in the minors and he's ready to be a #4 or #5 guy right now. They are keeping him in the AHL because they want him to play 25 minutes a night in all situations so he's a little more polished. They also have Kevin Connauton who is a very good offensive dman, good size and a decent fighter as well. He's still refining his defense which has improved by leaps and bounds, but he was good enough to be an all-star in the AHL this year.

    We'll see what happens, I think Gillis will make another 1 or 2 depth moves but that's it. The Canucks don't need a lot to make a good run this season other than a little luck and better health.
     
  7. m_peroni

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    Even on a Stanley Cup team, you saw guys like Leetch and Lidstrom log tons of minutes despite being surrounding by depth.

    It could be that it is AV's decision to not overplay his d-men, but it also could be that the coaching staff, and trainers, think that Edler is not ready yet to play so many minutes either. We don't know for sure.

    I like the saying, "you can never have enough d-men". That holds true especially when you think you can win the Cup. Tavev may be ready, but why not be more secure to have a more dependable 3rd pair d-man that has experience and won't make rookie mistakes in a Game 7?

    I am not saying that the Nucks should get someone really THAt good. But, a d-man known for steady defensive plays and makes very few errors, why not? Even someone like Sheldon Brookbank. The guy is defensively steady and you know you won't have to worry about a mistake in crucial moments. Why risk that with Tanev?

    The Canucks should get a solid 3rd liner that can be on the ice in all situations, and a smarter, better, and more reliable, 3rd pair d-man.
     
  8. Sir Rodney

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    Hi Mick,

    I can see your reasoning on the time issue. The two positions you mentioned are the ones cited most often in the Vancouver rumor mills. The one player in their system that most tend to forget is Reinprecht who came over in the Booth deal. The Canucks haven't brought him up as he would have to clear waivers but my understanding is that he will once the Canucks get in to the play offs. I see him as insurance for Malhotra more than anything. The other issue is Salo. He is great as long as he stays healthy but that's a big if given his track record. A third pairing defender capable of playing second pairing minutes if necessary is a must in my opinion. Bryan Allen with Carolina is a defender who comes to mind and of all the rumors that have been thrown around, that one makes the most sense. The inclusion of Ruutu as well in the package makes less sense in terms of the cap implications. I just don't see the Canucks being capable of adding both unless Carolina wanted Ballard which I don't think is realistic.

    Two players who have taken some of the pressure off of the Canucks are Bitz and Duco. They've added the much needed grit the lacking of which cost the Canucks a lot of credibility against the Bruins. Even Alberts has developed a comparative mean streak lately. Who knew?

    The Canucks play of late has been very frustrating. Granted they have entered a particularly tough part of their schedule and they continue to rack up points but they don't seem to be putting any of their opponents away easily. It may be nothing more than pacing like you suggested for the d-men with the same lack of urgency translating to the forwards as well. To give up a goal very late in the final period and then to defeat Phoenix in the sixth round of the shoot out doesn't bode a lot of confidence in a deep playoff run. Statistically, they are doing fine but....

    Take care.
     
  9. m_peroni

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    That's right. I forgot about Rhino! He is a good player, but what happened to him in Florida was a growing lack of consistency and his salary. I think the Canucks depth and skill would soften his inconsistency and he would benefit, but i was thinking about possibly getting a better player who has been NHL ready this whole season. I mean, i would love... LOVE to see Gaustad on the Nucks.

    Bringing back Allen to Vancouver? Cool idea. He is still good defensively, but ever since that concussion and knee/leg injury in Florida he has not been the same. Nonetheless, i would take him an infinite amount of times over Alberts or Rome.

    Alberts has a mean streak now? The guy used to be mean but taking bad penalties with it.

    Bitz and Duco are great depth players for grit, but not for a 16 win ambition in the playoffs. Duco reminds me a lot of Hollweg.

    What scares me about the Canucks is actually the goaltending. Scares me not in terms of frightening me as a fan of another team, but if i were a Nucks fan. We don't know which Luongo we will get in the playoffs, for each round, and we don't know how well Schneider can do as well.

    This is why i would like to see the Canucks improve their defense and their bottom six so it could help the team overcome any goaltending struggles they may encounter.
     
  10. Sir Rodney

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    I think it's safe to say that the Canucks won't be trading Schneider before the Draft at the very least. I will even go so far as to suggest that if Luongo doesn't have a good playoff that it will be he rather than Schneider who gets traded this Summer. What I've seen as a preview of this year's playoffs is the comfort they've shown by playing Schneider in any situation, no matter how critical or who the opposition might be. I don't think they felt that level of confidence last year even though he played well for them. Would they have played him in Game 6 last year when it was clear that the Bruins were in to Luongo's head, particularly in Boston? Probably not. This year, I think that's changed and given that same scenario, I believe they would have made a different decision. To me, that series was lost in Game 6 for all intents and purposes.

    I'd be interested in your opinion on the Alberts' hit from the Calgary game. Alberts got a 6-minute penalty for the overall sequence that was excessive in my opinion. No question he came in hard on Comeau who was going down prior to the hit but the subsequent actions by the Flames seemed to be ignored. The initial contact resulted in a 2-minute charging penalty but the Backlund went after him for the hit which seems to be the norm in this day and age. Backlund was the wrong player to take issue and he got thumped and injured as a result. They called it roughing rather than fighting so Backlund didn't get an instigator penalty but Alberts got an additional 2 for roughing and 2 for being "the aggressor". Interestingly, neither ref had signaled a charge until after everything had settled down and it was obvious that Backlund was hurt. Was this a bad Alberts penalty or one that appeared far worse than it should have been?

    Gaustad isn't one of the names that seems to be mentioned at all on any of the Canucks' blogs. Can you fill me in a bit more as to why you are so high on him?

    Later.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT2KV3iWQ5A
     
  11. m_peroni

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    No way i would trade Schneider now unless the offer is too good to pass. But even with that, i'd think about it long if i were Nucks GM.

    Who knows what we will see after the playoffs. Remember what i said before the season started, or just when it started and the Nucks looked awful. I said that this is a Nucks team that shouldn't finish in first place (although they are on that road again) but it would not matter because their true game should come playoff time. I think they learned a lot from last year. They are more matured, especially Luongo, and will be a better playoff team. Honestly it is the first time in a while that i look at the Western Conference and say "it's not that good". So, i think the Canucks definitely have a strong chance of entering the Finals again.

    We may see that success as a team and obviously in Luongo.

    Now, IF....if Luongo goes on and off again by round then Gillis has a lot to think about. If he chooses to trade Luongo, and i think Luongo would welcome a trade if the media and fans harass him again, then it would make the summer VERY interesting. I also do not think that Jeff Carter gets traded this month (ditto Nash, although i think the talk of Nash is a mix up by "sources" and it could be that the Jackets are talking about Carter, not Nash). If he does not get traded, then why not Luongo for Carter? The contracts are fairly similar. The Canucks get a big, skilled forward who could do wonders with the Sedins. The Blue Jacks get a big improvement in goaltending. Both teams win.

    Watching the link you provided on Alberts........yikes. It was definitely unintentional from Alberts to injure Comeau, but it was a full on charge to reck him. Definitely a penalty and not one that you would want to see in a playoff game (hence why i think they need a steady, responsible, reliable 3rd pair d-man). Backlund did the right thing in just shoving Alberts a bit. Alberts did drop the gloves first, though, and he just started hammering Backlund as if he was a punching bag without allowing Backlund to actually even think about fighting.

    It's one thing if it was Kostopoulos or Jackman since either one can handle such a fight, but Alberts knew that Backlund probably never threw a punch. You are going after a guy who is not a fighter and to go after him like that is just being a goon. I mean, like the saying "pick on somebody your own size".

    I would have just given four minutes in total for Alberts, two for Backlund, and end it at that. The extra two minutes call on Alberts was a BS call and probably just to keep him off the ice longer to avoid other altercations.

    Why do i like Gaustad? He is huge, tough, smart at both ends of the ice and can play on any line and in any situation. He has experience. He has good work ethic, and he will stick up for his teammates when necessary. I think he is the only Sabre to have actually challenged Lucic to a fight after the Miller incident, which leads me to wonder why would the Sabres trade him in the first place, but who knows?

    One of my favorite Gaustad moments:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8pBwro0hhY

    and this...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrJ5NHIUJVI
     
  12. Sir Rodney

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    I can see what you mean about Gaustad. That check on Liles is similar to the one Alberts threw. The key difference was that Comeau was in a vulnerable position where Liles wasn't. Your 2 and 4 penalty calls was what I thought should have been called. No question the Flames deserved a power play but not a full 6 minute one.

    All this talk about Nash moving and the need for Columbus to get a replacement for Mason in goal brings up some intriguing possibilities. For a team like the Canucks to take on both Nash and Mason, they would be looking at a combined salary of $10,700,000. Playing what if, the Canucks could offer Luongo and Ballard for $9,533,333 which would free up about $1.2 for the Jackets to remain active at the deadline. This would give them the franchise goal tender they desperately need and a defenseman who just can't seem to get out of the coaches dog house in Vancouver but who could conceivably be considered in the top 4 in Columbus. There would likely be some deal sweetening going on but there are some pluses for both teams. Vancouver would get a player who could be a major stud with the Sedins, it would resolve the goal tending controversy in Vancouver, Schneider would have a veteran goal tender to share the duties going forward until Eddie Lack is ready to fill that roll in a couple of years. Raymond would eventually be part of a trade for a top four defenseman and all would be well in Vancouver. Ah the joys of biased dealing. Yep, time to get 'er dun.
     
  13. m_peroni

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    If you want Nash on Vancouver you know that Hodgson is as good as gone in that deal. But, i don't think Nash gets traded now as fans could riot and not attend games. Nash and Carter are off-season moves. Carter still has a 10% chance of being moved this month, i say, but most likely this summer.

    Vancouver needs to be careful with chemistry, just as the rumored Rangers should be careful as well when looking at Nash.

    I think LA will do whatever it can to get Nash.

    I would not be surprised, though, if some smaller market teams that make the playoffs use that revenue to get Nash as well.

    I think what you will see this year is some first round draft picks traded as apparently this year's entry draft is average. We're 12 days away! We'll see.
     
  14. Sir Rodney

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  15. Sir Rodney

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    Nash From A Columbus Perspective

    Like This IS Going To Happen.

    I got a kick out of this guy's take on what the Canucks would offer in order to get Nash. Schneider, Ballard, Hodgson and a 1st Round Pick.

    I understand how the thinking works when your franchise player has given his approval to his team to look at possible trade destination. He's been the heart and soul of that franchise so his imminent departure has got to bring a return that would make it worth while. That's where the logic part of the equation ends and the fantasy aspect takes over. Money wise it works but there is far more at play here than just making the dollars equal out. There was an interesting panel discussion last night between periods of the Avalanche game with two reporters from the Vancouver Sun and Team 1040 Radio. The negative impact of having Nash with his huge contract, particularly with the hometown discounts the Canucks have received from the Twins, Kesler, Bieksa and Burrows was discussed. Granted, that was in place before they supposedly acquired him, but how do you continue getting players to take less than market value when those same contracts come up after next year. That group includes Edler and Burrows in particular. The conclusion the panel came to is that they don't see any way the Canucks will be serious players in the Nash Sweepstakes and the further this goes, the more I agree with them.

    I got a real chuckle out of the supposed deals between Columbus and LA in terms of what the author expected from the Canucks. I don't see either of those two packages getting the deal done.

    When it's all said and done, I think the team that winds up with Nash will be Toronto. I think they will make the deal prior to the deadline freeing up salary with Columbus and aside from a player or two that Columbus would actually want to keep, the rest would be assets they could trade either at the deadline or at the draft to aid in the building of their franchise post Nash. I just don't see Columbus hitting anywhere near the home run this authors seems to feel will happen.

    http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog/Eric-Smith/What-Teams-And-What-They-Could-Give-For-Nash/96/42232
     
  16. Die-hard

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    Re: Nash From A Columbus Perspective

    Nash? Please god no - he's a great player on offense and would easily be the worst defensive forward on Vancouver. He's as lazy as it gets - I know as I've hung out with him a couple of times in the summer. Great guy, but couldn't be lazier if he tried.

    If he didn't have a $7.8 million a year cap hit then sure, but the reality is he does and it's for a while.

    The Nucks don't need invasive surgery, they just need to add some depth and competition. This is arguably the best team in the NHL, definitely in the top 3, so why make big changes?
     
  17. rikster

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    Keep your eye on the prize...

    Shea Weber is the real prize and who back to the original question is one of a very small handful of true number 1 blue liners ...

    The only 2 who really stand out for me are Chara and Weber, players like Edler are very good but a definite notch below those players...

    The talk of the Canucks finding cap space for either Weber or Nash shouldn't be a concern, you only have to look at the other teams rumoured to be interested in Nash's services, the likes of Toronto and New York and Chicago who combined have some $16 million dollars owing to 3 players buried in the minors ...

    Regarding Reinprecht, there are those who feel he is the best player currently playing in the AHL, and the Canucks would like to bring him up to the parent team but are concerned that he won't clear so he is being kept there till the playoffs...

    So, consider Reinprecht to be Gillis's first trade deadline addition....

    If Weber does want to play for the Canucks, then it is conceivable that the Canucks in 2 years could ice the best blue line in hockey with the likes of Weber, Edler, Bieksa, Hamhuis, Tanev, and any one of about 4 very promising prospects already in the system....

    Take care...
     
  18. Sir Rodney

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    Re: Keep your eye on the prize...

    Hi Rikster,

    I agree that Weber would be my number 1 choice as well but why do we assume that he really does want to play in Vancouver? I realize we've heard that type of comment numerous times but is there anything beyond the fantasies of a series of bloggers to back that up? I get that he's from Sicamous and that his family would get to see him play frequently but that's a quantum leap to go from that to the point where he would refuse to sign with Nashville and then sign with the Nucks.

    Playing what if for a moment, let's assume that Weber really does want to come this way. This Summer he becomes a RFA. The last thing the Canucks would do would throw an offer sheet at him as Nashville would likely match so they would be more likely to trade for his rights preventing other teams from doing the same thing (of course, if Weber has only one team in mind, then that would be moot but again, that's making a major home town assumption). The easy thing would be to throw the usual names in the mix like Ballard and Raymond but I am going to suggest something quite different. Bieksa, Hamhuis and Ballard all have time left on their contracts but Edler is down to his final year before he becomes a RFA as well. If the Canucks had Weber, could they afford another stud like Edler who will certainly be in line for a huge raise in 2013? I can't see them making that move but it would have some appeal for Nashville as they would be getting an excellent defenseman in return. Vancouver would get a slight upgrade but that might be enough to put them over the top.

    Staying with the fantasy, how would you envision Weber winding up in Nucks' colours?

    Better than talking politics, eh (got to get that Canadianism in)?
     
  19. rikster

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    Re: Keep your eye on the prize...

    Hi Sir Rodney..

    I was thinking in 2 years when when becomes a UFA ( assuming the new CBA allows it at his age )...

    I think if he takes another 1 year deal this off season then he is as good as gone from Nashville and as evident by the Canucks being one of only a half dozen teams a top end talent like Nash would agree to move to, Vancouver is now one of the destinations for players to play in, so I think a lot of stars could align ...

    If he resigns for multiple years this off season in Nashville, then my bubble got burst....

    I really enjoy conversing with people about any topic, politics included but understand Die Hard when he said this is not the place to discuss American politics ...

    Take care...
     
  20. Sir Rodney

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    Re: Keep your eye on the prize...

    If you are thinking two years down the road, basically you are looking at the next iteration of the Canucks. I think the window of opportunity for the current core is shorter than that. The wear and tear on the Sedins will make them less productive, particularly at 34 and up. I keep thinking that there has to be a tweak or two for the current roster that will put them over the top now. Granted Weber isn't a player that will provide that quick fix, great as that would be. In two years, there will be some significant changes to the roster and who knows what that defense will look like. I give kudos to Gillis for fine tuning the mix and I am really looking forward to what will happen in the next two weeks. I've been saying all along that I don't think this year's team is as strong as it needs to be to win the Cup. It's definitely better than what I initially gave them credit for but they are still vulnerable to the kind of play that seems to be acceptable in the playoffs and that continues to concern me.

    I introduced that thread on Thomas primarily from the hockey standpoint as opposed to the US Political standpoint. It is hard to separate the two unfortunately. I find it interesting that the Boston media appears to be the most critical of the ongoing saga. The rest of us have moved on but there the politics of it has given the issue new life. Fascinating spectacle just the same.

    I realize there will still be some bitterness over the loss to the Bruins but the moron element reinforced by their own ethnic bigotry just keep smearing Vancouver's name in the mud. Shame on them!!

    http://canucksarmy.com/2012/2/16/milan-lucics-church-vandalized-in-vancouver
     

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