As I wrote in a recent article, Alexander Edler told The Province that although he has been cleared to play following months of rehab from a chronic back injury, he is not, and most likely never will be, 100 percent.
Last year, Edler was the best defender on the Canucks and one of the best in the league. He was exactly the type of player the Canucks need now to lead their defensive squad.
The question is: Does this change how his future with the Canucks will pan out? Edler claims that he was not 100 percent last year either, when he tied Shea Weber for seventh among defenders with 49 points.
Given that stat, it's conceivable that general manager Mike Gillis will give Edler the benefit of the doubt and hold off from acquiring a new top defenseman. But then again, if a potential star defender is offered in another trade, it might be hard to turn down.
Prior to the start of the season, the Canucks may acquire a defender via trade. However, it likely won't be to replace Edler but serve as a simple piece to a bigger deal.
If Edler performs poorly or misses time due to injury, then we can be on the lookout for Gillis' response.