If you want to get a fan base talking about trade possibilities, mention the number of scouts at any given game.
Scouts doing, you know, scouting - their job.
Elliotte Friedman was on The Program Tuesday afternoon on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650, and the Insider was asked about there having been scouts representing 13 teams at Monday’s Canucks tilt, and whether that was simply happenstance or if there was something to see there.
“After you sent me the note today I looked into it a little bit,” indicated Friedman. “One of the factors was that it was a light schedule last night. I think you guys were the only West Coast game. Edmonton’s on a big homestand, and Calgary was just at home, so I think there were a lot of people who happened to be in the area and they said that’s a good night to go because Edmonton played Saturday and they’re playing again tonight. Calgary is on the East Coast now, but they were home until Friday. So I think there was a slightly larger congregation than normal in Western Canada, is what a couple of guys told me.
“But I do think that there are some players that people are looking at. You have an extra defenseman out there. I think at various times names like Hutton have been out there.
“I do think teams are watching Edler this year. From what I understand, Edler is a pretty heavily-scouted player this year. Everybody knows what the situation is, that he is in the last year of his contract and whether he wants to stay in Vancouver or not, it doesn’t sound like there’s been a lot of talk with him about an extension, at least with his representatives.
“I flipped a note out there, I haven’t heard anything about it. But I think it’s pretty safe to say there hasn’t been much talk, if any. So what says is the Canucks at least are thinking of, ‘Can we get something for this player, and we’ll deal with this down the road.’
“So I do think there’s a lot of teams that are looking at him and watching him and saying, ‘If he becomes available,’ they want to at least be aware of what they’re looking at this year. I mean, the guy is playing a lot of minutes. I know there’s a big debate out there right now about whether or not these are effective minutes or not, but I think there’s going to be a lot of teams looking at him and saying, ‘Here’s his game right now. Does it fit with us if that’s the way it’s going to go.’
“So I do think your team is being watched, I think particularly on the blueline with some of the names that could be available. I think while it was a bit of a scheduling coincidence, I don’t think it’s an overall coincidence.”
Edler is in the final season of his six-year, $30 million contract, which contains a no-move clause.
The conversation on 650 continued, and before too long it wound its way back to Edler with a look at which types of teams might have interest in the defenseman.
“I think the more interesting thing to me is I look at some of the contenders and whether or not they say that they’re watching him to see if this guy is a guy who can be a final piece or a final part of their teams,” said Friedman. “Remember last year I reported I think Tampa Bay was interested in Edler. I know they were. And that didn’t go anywhere. Edler wasn’t interested in moving. So I don’t think that necessarily goes away.
“The other team, and you guys were there last week, I heard some rumblings. I didn’t get an answer on anything, so I don’t know if it’s true or not true. But I do think a team like Pittsburgh would make sense.
“But again, A) it takes two to go and B) we haven’t mentioned Edler has control over this process. They have to go to him and say to him. And the one thing I really believe out of all of this is that it’s going to have to be the Canucks who go to him and say, ‘Alex, we want you to waive.’ From what I understand about Alex Edler, I don’t think he’s going to the Canucks and saying, ‘Get me out of here.’
“You know he loves being there. He’s got a chance to set some records there for defensemen played. And I don’t think he’s ever going to be the guy who says, ‘I want to leave.’ I think if the Canucks want to move Edler in-season, they’re going to have to go to him and be the one to say, ‘Look, either we want to know who you’d be willing to go play for, or we’ve explored some things and this is available to us.’
“And I would tend to think too that he would probably be more interested in a contender than he would be in a team that he doesn’t necessarily think would win the Cup.”
Contract-related info via CapFriendly