Alex Edler signs six-year contract extension with Canucks

By Adam Gretz | Hockey writer
Alex Edler signed a six-year contract extension with the Canucks on Friday night. (Getty Images)

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One night before the NHL season begins, the Vancouver Canucks locked up a key piece of their defense by signing Alex Edler to a six-year contract extension, the team announced on Friday.

Financial terms were not released by the Canucks, but ESPN's Pierre LeBrun reports the deal is worth a total of $30 million and carries an average annual cap hit of $5 million.

The 26-year-old Edler is coming off a career year with the Canucks, scoring 11 goals to go with 38 assists in 82 games. Those were all personal bests for him.

He's entering the final year of his current contract that has a cap hit of $3.25 million for 2013. He was set to be an unrestricted free agent this summer if he hadn't reached a new agreement before July.

Now that Edler is signed, the Canucks have five defensemen signed for at least the next three years, as he joins Dan Hamhuis, Jason Garrison, Kevin Bieksa, and Keith Ballard on long-term deals. As a group, they combine for over $22 million in cap space through the end of the 2014-15 season. It's entirely possible, though, that Ballard could be a buyout candidate after the season (he's certainly the most likely player, anyway).

Edler led the Canucks in ice-time last season and was their top offensive defenseman as well as their power-play quarterback.

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