January 31, 2019 | 11:10am ET



Alexander Edler, defenceman


You can take Alexander Edler off the trade board, as Vancouver Canucks GM Jim Benning has informed Sportsnet that he will not be trading the veteran defenceman ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.

Edler, 32, is in the final-year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Despite interest from various teams, the Canucks have opted against moving Edler and will focus on trying to sign him to an extension, according to Sportsnet’s Iain MacIntyre, who added that “there is enough trust in the team-player relationship” that a new contract doesn’t necessarily have to be agreed upon by the deadline.

Benning plans to meet with Edler and his agent, Mark Stowe, this week to discuss next steps and get the ball rolling on a new contract.

With Edler off the market, the Canucks will shift trade focus to players like forward Nikolay Goldobin, who has been on the trade block for several weeks.

Another asset(s) the Canucks won’t move are their 2019 draft picks. With the 2019 NHL Draft taking place in Vancouver, Benning has indicated he’s not interested in moving them.

Any moves the Canucks make are likely to be more ‘big-picture’ focused and could result in a quiet trade deadline for the club.

“Our team is healthy now and the (schedule) break came at a good time for us,” Benning told SN. “Talking to some of our players, our group was tired. But now we’ve had this break and we have almost four weeks until the deadline and we’ll see where we’re at. We’ll make decisions based on our long-term plan.”