Bruins almost acquired Edler at the trade deadline
President Cam Neely told 98.5 The Sports Hub the Bruins had a deal in principle for a player with term remaining on his contract. That trade was shelved, Neely said, because another deal did not happen.
According to a team source, the Bruins’ trade fizzled because an expected transaction between Vancouver and Pittsburgh failed to take place.
The Penguins had been pursuing Ryan Kesler. According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, the Penguins were offering Brandon Sutter, first- and third-round picks, and a defensive prospect.
Once the Canucks moved Kesler to Pittsburgh, they would have proceeded with their trade with the Bruins. The Bruins’ target could not be confirmed. But it’s likely they were targeting smooth-moving left-shot defenseman Alex Edler.
In 45 games, Edler has five goals and 10 assists while averaging 23:20 of ice time. The 27-year-old Edler fits the profile of the type of player the Bruins wanted to assume some of Dennis Seidenberg’s responsibilities: a left-shot defenseman who can play big minutes and move the puck. Edler could have been the left-side man on the No. 2 pairing.
It’s likely Vancouver would have asked the Bruins for either AHLers Ryan Spooner or Alexander Khokhlachev, both more offensive-minded than Sutter.
Spooner (5-23—28 in 32 games for Providence) is quick and clever while boasting high-end speed. Spooner scored zero goals and 11 assists in 22 games for the Bruins while Chris Kelly was out with a broken fibula.
Khokhlachev (15-22—37 in 48 AHL games) is not as fast as Spooner but creative offensively. Neither projects to displace David Krejci, Patrice Bergeron, or Carl Soderberg, the Bruins’ top three centers.
Vancouver would have also needed a defensive replacement for Edler. The top candidate would have been Matt Bartkowski.
Both sides could revisit a trade around the draft. Edler would give the Bruins more mobility on the back end.