The Ottawa Senators Should Pursue Vancouver’s Alexander Edler


Ottawa’s defence has been an issue since 2013. The fall of Ottawa’s defensive group came after the 12-13 season, when defence looked like a strength on Ottawa as the Senators led the league in penalty killing percentage.

Since then, just Andre Benoit and Sergei Gonchar have moved on, with no additions other than Cody Ceci. Now, with Erik Karlsson and Marc Methot remaining as the only solidified, proven, “top 4” defenders, the Senators should seek out another. In looking at those who could be available, Alexander Edler is a perfect fit.

Edler is “Ideal For Ottawa”

Looking at Edler on paper, he really seems like the ideal piece missing from the Senators’ current roster.

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Since arriving in Vancouver, Edler has proven himself to be a puck-moving, top four defender. At 29-years-old, he’s young enough to be around for more than a few seasons and help a team win. He’s also swedish and big at 6foot3, and we know the Senators like that.

Of course, Ottawa’s own Erik Karlsson is quite familiar with Edler already. In being a fellow countrymen, the two have competed on the national stage in the past, most recently at the 2014 olympics.


Diving into some of Edler’s usage stats tell us that is quite the defender and one who would compliment any back-end nicely.

With over 1250 5v5 minutes this season, Edler led Vancouver in 5v5 TOI/G with over 17 minutes a night. Throw in the fact that Edler played over 200 powerplay minutes and over 180 penalty kill minutes (both highs amongst VAN defenders) and it is clear that their is a mobile, all-situation defenceman that could be available.

To compare to a few more defenders around the league, Edler is among some of the best top 4 guys playing on Canadian teams in terms of usage. To compare to the likes of Dion Phaneuf, T.J. Brodie, Tyler Myers and Jeff Petry, it’s clear that Alexander Edler is able to play in all situations.

Alex Edler741275:28:0017:14:10210:17:00183:57:00
Marc Methot45870:48:0019:21:040:0077:00:00
Dion Phaneuf701131:19:0016:09:42231:34:00186:26:00
T.J. Brodie811574:39:0019:26:24175:23:00163:45:00
Jeff Petry781361:20:0017:27:1198:09:00131:09:00
Tyler Myers711260:06:0017:44:52193:11:00174:46:00

*numbers via

Where Does He Fit? 

In seeing that Edler can play in all situations, the Senators could slot Edler just about anywhere into their lineup. He’s versatile and moveable, another reason Ottawa should push for a veteran defenceman like Edler

Marc Methot – Erik Karlsson is nothing short of a sure bet when it comes to Ottawa’s defensive group. What is nice about Edler is that he plays on the left side, giving Ottawa options and Erik Karlsson a d-partner on the powerplay unit. To break it down, Edler would probably fit behind Methot on the left side, likely paired with Cody Ceci.

"Marc Methot – Erik KarlssonAlex Edler – Cody CeciPatrick Wiercioch – Chris Wideman x’s – Chris Phillips, Mark Borowiecki, Jared Cowen, Eric Gryba"

We know a few of those guys are going to be moved this off-season, the log-jam would simply be out of hand with another addition to the defensive group.

The addition of Edler here turns Ottawa’s group into a very mobile one. Cody Ceci gets a legitimate top 4 guy to be paired with and the Senators have Chris Wideman and Patrick Wiercioch filling out the group. With a 7th guy remaining in either Chris Phillips or Mark Borowiecki, I have no issues with this.

The Price and Odds

You’d have to think Alex Edler to Ottawa is very unlikely at this point in time. With GM Bryan Murray’s target still being a top 6 forward, management’s priorities are elsewhere. However, with Edler on a deal with an AAV of $5 000 000 for the next 4 seasons, the Senators would need to move salary and value to acquire him.

Speaking in hypotheticals here, if Ottawa was making a pitch for Alex Edler, they’d be trying to sell Jared Cowen. Cowen, a top 10 pick not to long ago acts as that salary dump here, and it would probably take another solid piece to make the deal happen. If I’m Vancouver, I would be looking at Patrick Wiercioch as a piece coming back.

But from Ottawa’s standpoint, a few more pieces they could dangle would include Mike Hoffman, Alex Chiasson, Matt Puempel, Shane Prince, draft picks or even Robin Lehner.


The idea of adding a defender of Edler’s quality is an intriguing thought. If Ottawa is serious about improving their defensive group, a guy like Edler or another all-situations defender to slot in behind Marc Methot would be ideal.

For now, however, Senators management may stay pat with what they have heading into 15/16. It would be nice to see changes and additions, but it just seems unlikely at this point in time. If they do decide to make a move, however, then Alex Edler would be a good fit on any group looking for defensive help.

Next: 6 Ottawa Senators Who Could Be Moving This Off-Season

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