Newest LA Kings defenseman Alex Edler is ready to get to work, and he noted that he’s ready to do whatever is asked of him.
Added to the LA Kings blueline on the first day of the NHL’s free agency period, defenseman Alex Edler opted to try something else rather than stay with the team he spent the previous 15 years with. Edler, 35, recently noted on the All The Kings Men podcast that he had interest from multiple teams, including Vancouver, but indicated that Rob Blake and the Kings showed the most interest in him.
The former third-round pick in the 2004 Draft put pen to paper, agreeing to a one-year contract worth $3.5M. His contract also includes a no-movement clause, guaranteeing he and his whole family will stay put for at least one year.
Ultimately, that’s what the move boiled down to. Edler noted that the Canucks had a difficult 2021 campaign, and it was just time to move on. It was also appealing to leave to a warmer climate. During the offseason, Edler is in Sweden, but he’s already anxious to get going with his new squad.
“I’m just looking forward to getting into the dressing room with the team and start skating with them and training camp and playing again and playing in front of fans,” the Östersund, Sweden, native said. “I know both me and my family are very excited to move into L.A. and trying the lifestyle down there, waking up to sunny weather. Me and my whole family are very excited about this move.”
Edler will join a Kings team full of Swedish influence, which can aid in making a new place feel more like home. That said, he’s coming from a Canucks squad with an average age of 26.5 years old along the blueline. He’ll be joining an LA Kings with an influx of youth, especially along the left side with Mikey Anderson (21) and Tobias Bjornfot (20).
In his early 20s, Edler was on a Canucks team that featured the headliners in the Sedin twins. The Swedish blueliner learned from defensive veterans such as Christian Ehrhoff, Willie Mitchell, and Kevin Bieksa. Now in a leadership role, Edler will be looking to do the same in Los Angeles.
“I’m mostly just trying to lead by example,’ Edler noted. “I’ve had some great leaders earlier in my career that showed me what it takes to be a good player, to be a good defenseman in the league. I’m trying to think about what they did to me and trying to do the same to the young guys that I play with now.”
Alex Edler was utilized more frequently on the powerplay earlier in his career, but as he’s gotten older, he’s transitioned to more penalty kill situations. Perhaps finding a role on the second powerplay unit, at best, Edler is likely to remain in a similar role as the abbreviated 2021 schedule with the Canucks. He’s lost a step in terms of skating, but he’s still an outstanding shot-blocker, accumulating 118 while also chipping in 80 hits in 52 games last year.
However, Edler is willing to do whatever Todd McLellan and the Kings’ coaching staff ask of him.
“I can be used in all kinds of situations, and I think it’s going to be from game to game,” he concluded. “I just want to be used in whatever situation that will help the team the most. That’s the player I am. I want to win the game, and whatever the coach needs from me, I’ll be ready to do, so that’s kind of the mindset. Obviously, I want to play in every situation, but that’s not always how it is. That’s what every defenseman wants to do – you want to play the most, you want to play all the time. But whatever the team needs from me, I’m ready to do.”