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5 Defensemen Blackhawks Should Target In Free Agency

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TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 27: Jake Gardiner #51 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at the Scotiabank Arena on October 27, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 27: Jake Gardiner #51 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at the Scotiabank Arena on October 27, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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VANCOUVER, BC – NOVEMBER 18: Alexander Edler #23 of the Vancouver Canucks skates up ice during their NHL game against the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Arena November 18, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)”n
VANCOUVER, BC – NOVEMBER 18: Alexander Edler #23 of the Vancouver Canucks skates up ice during their NHL game against the St. Louis Blues at Rogers Arena November 18, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)”n /

Alexander Edler

Alexander Edler of the Vancouver Canucks is an interesting potential signing for the Blackhawks. Edler is a left-handed defenseman who stands at 6’3″ 212 lbs and plays a fairly well-rounded game. He has been the Canucks best defenseman for quite some time now. He is coming off a solid season of 34 points (10G, 24A) in 56 games with a 3 ± rating.

Although Edler is 33 years old, he actually set a career high in ATOI with 24:34. This is a great sign and shows he still has some tread left on his tires. Another thing Blackhawks fans are going to really appreciate is that Edler blocks a lot of shots — 1471 blocked shots in 814 games. He can also fill in on the power play which is another plus.

Edler has etched his name into the Canucks’ record books:

  • 8th most assists (274)
  • 7th most games played (814)
  • Most points as a defenseman (368)

One concern that I have with Edler is his durability. He has missed quite a bit of hockey over the years. This season, he did have a pretty nasty injury where he hit his head off of the ice really hard.

https://twitter.com/BarSouthNCelly/status/1092613975131353088

As long as Alexander Edler is healthy and can pass a physical, then I don’t really have a problem bringing him in. He is currently on the final year of a 6-year, $30 mil ($5 mil AAV) contract, but his age will be a factor on his next one. I can see Edler landing a short term deal somewhere in the range of $4-6 mil AAV.

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