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Big Bang Theory - The Edler Progression to a Norris Trophy

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Old
12-28-2010, 02:42 PM
  #1
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Big Bang Theory - The Edler Progression to a Norris Trophy

According to Iain MacIntyre, Edler's career trajectory is tracking Nick Lidstrom and a Norris may be on the horizon. He argues that Lidstrom was 31 when he won his first Norris and Edler is only 24 while still trending upwards:
In doing the math on Alex Edler, trying to calculate his career trajectory the way astronomers chart comets, the most important number to consider is 31.

That was Nicklas Lidstrom's age when the Detroit Red Wing won his first Norris Trophy as the National Hockey League's best defenceman. Lidstrom has won five more since then and is probably one of the 10 greatest ever at his position.

Edler isn't yet one of the 10 best in the NHL now, but the Vancouver Canuck is getting close.

He is among the league's blue-line leaders in points (22 in 34 games) and playing time (24:17), is second among Vancouver defenceman in plus/ minus (plus-seven) and hits (54) and a key cog on special teams that are top-five in the NHL. But the key number, as with Lidstrom's first Norris, is age. Edler is 24. This is his fourth season.

"Nick Lidstrom was 31," Canuck assistant coach Rick Bowness, who mentors Edler, emphasized after Monday's practice.

"That's seven years from now for Alex. You figure where Alex is and where he's going to be seven years from now. That's why you have to look at the big picture."
http://www.vancouversun.com/sports/h...#ixzz19ROZvYBh

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12-28-2010, 02:50 PM
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stevecanuck16
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I think everyone agrees Edler has untapped potential. Whether that potential yields the next Nik Lidstrom, or even a Norris-calibre defenseman, remains to be seen.

Personally, I think that at the very least we can expect Edler to become an undisputed number 1 defenseman on this team in the next few seasons. My reasoning for this is that he's on the cusp of #1 status at the age of 24, and is still constantly improving. I think Alex Edler will probably be looked at as one of our best draft picks ever by the end of his career.

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12-28-2010, 02:51 PM
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JBIZ14
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Edlers skate could win the Art Ross this year.

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12-28-2010, 02:59 PM
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Development isn't always linear. Adding to that, development can always regress.

While Edler does have immense potential, whether or not he reaches it is still to be decided.

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12-28-2010, 03:04 PM
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Reign Nateo
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Don't like how he's being compared to Lidstrom so much. That's a pretty lofty comparison. He's playing very well right now, and frankly there aren't many defenders I'd rather have in the long-run, but I don't think he's all that comparable to Lidstrom. Edler is more physical, but doesn't have the same hockey IQ. Whatever happens, this will be one of the biggest draft steals in Canuck history. Especially when you consider the Bure situation when he was drafted and how intensive scouting has become. Very nice coup for the Canucks. And if this is the type of player we're going to see for the next 7 years, then yeah he's likely to have a very good shot at a Norris sometime in his career.

He gets underrated, but there are not a lot of defenceman in this league that do everything he does as well as he does, at his age.

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12-28-2010, 03:07 PM
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He's not winning a Norris. But I still laugh when the Oilers board had a thread about how Tom Gilbert is a much better d-man.

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12-28-2010, 03:07 PM
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I don't think he has Lidstrom potential, they are not the same player. Edler reminds me more of a Pronger-Neidermayer hybrid. If he used his booming shot more and got it through more easily, he would easily have 15 goals per season.

Where he is right now, reminds me of a little bit less defensively sound Mattias Ohlund. I would hope he reaches his potential after this contract ends. In the playoffs, he showed he could be a no. 1 defenseman. Whether that compounds with his skillset over time is beyond me.

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12-28-2010, 03:15 PM
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Tiranis
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Originally Posted by Reverend Mayhem View Post
Where he is right now, reminds me of a little bit less defensively sound Mattias Ohlund. I would hope he reaches his potential after this contract ends. In the playoffs, he showed he could be a no. 1 defenseman. Whether that compounds with his skillset over time is beyond me.
He's a lot better offensively, there's a reason he's Top 15 amongst defencemen in scoring.

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12-28-2010, 03:18 PM
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VanEric
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He's also a better skater and more suited to the modern NHL. Ohlie was at his best when the game was slow and plodding.

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12-28-2010, 03:22 PM
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I hate when reporters make superficial comparisons. Lidstrom has had elite hockey sense since he came into the league and is one of the best defencemen in the history of the game because of it. Edler might have better physical tools Lidstrom does but that's irrelevant to how they actually play on the ice.

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12-28-2010, 03:30 PM
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He's a lot better offensively, there's a reason he's Top 15 amongst defencemen in scoring.
I wouldn't say he's a lot better offensively, at least not yet. Ohlund was consistently just outside the top 20 in defensemen scoring pre-lockout when he played a full season and that's where Edler was last year. And while he's 13th right now, he's also only 2 points up on 22nd.

Hopefully Edler's offensive game will continue to progress where Ohlund's plateaued early, but I think it's a little too early to definitively tell. Ohlund looked quite good when he came into the league at the age of 21 and was 1st in scoring among rookie defensemen (5th in scoring among all rookies). I'm confident Edler will continue his progression and clearly eclipse Ohlund's offensive game, but I don't think he's quite there just yet.

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12-28-2010, 03:30 PM
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Comparing him to Lidstrom is pretty unfair. He could possibly win a Norris won day it's not out of the realm of possibility. Especially considering he is turning into a dependable 2way dman.

Long way to go though.

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12-28-2010, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by opendoor View Post
I wouldn't say he's a lot better offensively, at least not yet. Ohlund was consistently just outside the top 20 in defensemen scoring pre-lockout when he played a full season and that's where Edler was last year. And while he's 13th right now, he's also only 2 points up on 22nd.
Ohlund was also on the second PP unit for a lot of his prime too because he was behind Jovo, Sopel and Aucoin for most of that time.

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12-28-2010, 03:45 PM
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Consider where Edler was playing when he was drafted... a beer league in a remote town in Sweden.
To hear the Swedes tell it, not much comes from Ostersund, which on the country’s map is precisely in the middle of nowhere.

Nearer to the Norwegian border than the Swedish coast, the city of 60,000 is five hours by train from Stockholm and a 2 1/2-hour drive from the nearest town of any size. Ostersund is where you find trees and skiers and hockey players with mismatched socks and a beer cooler in the locker-room.
Here it is - The Legend of Alex Edler - The Beginning.
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/n...a86&k=7839&p=1

How he was this unknown kid playing in a remote town in a beer league scouted by Thomas Gradin and how he was pilfered before the Red Wings were able to draft him and him to their legendary picks.

Gradin made the trip to watch Edler rather than waiting to see Edler's team in the play-offs like most other scouts. And when the team did not advance Gradin had a leg up on other scouts excepting Detroit having seen Edler play once. However Gradin had to convince GM Dave Nonis to take a chance and draft Edler.
Gradin knew drafting a player he -- and only he among all the Canuck scouts -- had seen just once was tremendously risky.

"It's not the way we go about trying to draft guys," he says. "You really want to see the guy more than one time. We had a lot of talk about that."

The Canucks never did put Edler on their master list of draft prospects.

"Edler was on a different list," Nonis smiles. "He was on Thomas's list."

Because of Jamtland's unexpectedly quick exit from the playoffs, nobody but the Canucks and Red Wings saw Edler play. There was no video from Ostersund, no scouting combine. NHL Central Scouting had never heard of him. But the Canucks and Wings knew about Edler, and knew about each other.
After the draft Gradin arranged for a move to Modo's elite junior team in Ornskoldsvik (think Sedins, Naslund, Forsberg etc.) and following a successful year Edler was brought to North America to play for the WHL Kelowna Rockets.

With the Rockets he had an outstanding season:
62GP 13G 40A 53Pts 44PIMs

The next year (2006-07) he would start with the Moose and play 49 games and 22 with the Canucks. After 2 games in the AHL nest season he then stuck with the Canucks.

Gradin, whose old Canuck No. 23 is now worn by Edler, says: "I don't think he realizes how good he can be. There is no limitation. For sure, there haven't been any Cinderella stories like this guy. I think it's quite amazing."

Alex Edler... The Legend Continues.

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12-28-2010, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiranis View Post
He's a lot better offensively, there's a reason he's Top 15 amongst defencemen in scoring.
Yep. If he can put it all together, Pronger-Neidermayer hybrid, which is very exciting.

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12-28-2010, 03:59 PM
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He has physical gifts you just dont see very often at 6'4'' and 220 ibs (and he hasnt even filled out into a man yet really) and awesome offensive skills.

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12-28-2010, 04:11 PM
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I live in Östersund and I am slightly biased towards Edler. But I do not know any of his family, the city is actually that big – no kidding.

This is skiing country. Period. The centre of cross country for Sweden is in Östersund, and Åre 100 km away is the centre for alpine skiing in Sweden.

The only NHL player from Östersund except Edler is Ulf Dahlén One could count in the Lundquist brothers too, as they are form Åre (it is like coming from Whistler and choosing hockey before alpine skiing).

So it is rather amazing that the Detroit and Vancouver scouting included Östersund at all in their scouting. As mentioned in the article above Modo is kind of close but the team is situated in another "län" (appr. state) and there is not much contact between Örnsköldsvik (were Modo is) and Östersund. Mostly because Östersund leans towards Norway and Örnsköldsvik is an Eastern Coast city with other nodes of contacts. They are also 257 km apart, which matters less.

Here is pictures from a live webcam from Östersund, just a block away from me:
Webcam Östersund

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12-28-2010, 04:30 PM
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You can't really think Lidstrom good with any young player, no matter how good they seem. What you can say is that he's young, has the right physical tools and is continually improving every year. He's going to be a great asset for as long as we have him, and hopefully he gets to perpetual Norris contender status.

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12-28-2010, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by LiveeviL View Post
I live in Östersund and I am slightly biased towards Edler. But I do not know any of his family, the city is actually that big – no kidding.

This is skiing country. Period. The centre of cross country for Sweden is in Östersund, and Åre 100 km away is the centre for alpine skiing in Sweden.

The only NHL player from Östersund except Edler is Ulf Dahlén One could count in the Lundquist brothers too, as they are form Åre (it is like coming from Whistler and choosing hockey before alpine skiing).

So it is rather amazing that the Detroit and Vancouver scouting included Östersund at all in their scouting. As mentioned in the article above Modo is kind of close but the team is situated in another "län" (appr. state) and there is not much contact between Örnsköldsvik (were Modo is) and Östersund. Mostly because Östersund leans towards Norway and Örnsköldsvik is an Eastern Coast city with other nodes of contacts. They are also 257 km apart, which matters less.

Here is pictures from a live webcam from Östersund, just a block away from me:
Webcam Östersund
Cool...looks cold and thats from someone who has lived in Southern Alberta for 3 years now.

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12-28-2010, 05:03 PM
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Lidström won his first Norris at 31 yes. But he was a dominant defender ever since he entered the league. He has only two times been under 0.5 PPG and only four times been under 50 points since he entered the league. It is just stupid to compare Edler to him.

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12-28-2010, 05:14 PM
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MrJonas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveeviL View Post
I live in Östersund and I am slightly biased towards Edler. But I do not know any of his family, the city is actually that big – no kidding.

This is skiing country. Period. The centre of cross country for Sweden is in Östersund, and Åre 100 km away is the centre for alpine skiing in Sweden.

The only NHL player from Östersund except Edler is Ulf Dahlén One could count in the Lundquist brothers too, as they are form Åre (it is like coming from Whistler and choosing hockey before alpine skiing).

So it is rather amazing that the Detroit and Vancouver scouting included Östersund at all in their scouting. As mentioned in the article above Modo is kind of close but the team is situated in another "län" (appr. state) and there is not much contact between Örnsköldsvik (were Modo is) and Östersund. Mostly because Östersund leans towards Norway and Örnsköldsvik is an Eastern Coast city with other nodes of contacts. They are also 257 km apart, which matters less.

Here is pictures from a live webcam from Östersund, just a block away from me:
Webcam Östersund
Heh, I was just about to come to Östersund's defence and say that it's far from some no-name town by Swedish sports standards, lots of good skiers come from that area. It's a nice town too, from what I've seen the one time I've been there.

On topic, it's pretty obvious that these things are impossible to predict. For all we know Alex could already be at his highest plateu, or maybe he'll continue growing for years. Who knows.

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12-28-2010, 05:25 PM
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Lieevil : that webcam makes your town look beautiful in the snow. Man it dos look cold.

Very cool to hear from someone over there.

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12-28-2010, 05:34 PM
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The top four next year won't include Salo or Ehrhoff, IMO. I think Salo retires and Ehrhoff goes FA (there is demand to be exploited!).

Edler can be reasonably assumed to compete for number minutes with Bieksa ( an unsigned asset heading into FA), Hamhuis and Ballard. He can log top minutes, now, if need be.

Connauton might make the team next season. Or Parent.

If the Canucks fail to sign any of thier FAs that leaves Hamhuis, Ballard, Edler, Parent and Rome as returnees. Edler has to be top pairing, no?


In 2011-2012: Hamhuis Edler
Ballard Parent
Rome Connauton

All shoot L. I think some FAs will be re-signed, though. What I'm getting at is that Edler seems projected as a top pairing guy. In that role, he could blossom. He has met challenges before without any drama. Top minutes could mean breakout numbers and a realistic chance at some personal hardware.


Last edited by JuniorNelson: 12-28-2010 at 05:36 PM. Reason: rhetoric adjustment
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12-28-2010, 05:36 PM
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Our coaches comparing him to Lidstrom is a little on the ridiculous side.

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12-28-2010, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JuniorNelson View Post
The top four next year won't include Salo or Ehrhoff, IMO. I think Salo retires and Ehrhoff goes FA (there is demand to be exploited!).

Edler can be reasonably assumed to have a shot at number one in front of Bieksa ( an unsigned asset heading into FA), Hamhuis and Ballard. He can log top minutes, now, if need be.

Connauton might make the team next season. Or Parent.

If the Canucks fail to sign any of thier FAs that leaves Hamhuis, Ballard, Edler, Parent and Rome as returnees. Edler has to be top pairing, no?


In 2011-2012: Hamhuis Edler
Ballard Parent
Rome Connauton


All shoot L. I think some FAs will be re-signed, though. What I'm getting at is that Edler seems projected as a top pairing guy. In that role, he could blossom. He has met challenges before without any drama. Top minutes could mean breakout numbers and a realistic chance at some personal hardware.
That makes me want to vomit.

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