Edler excited for new challenge, but still coming to grips with Canucks exit

VANCOUVER – For nearly half of his life – and all of his adulthood – Alex Edler has returned to Vancouver from Sweden each summer to get ready for hockey season.

Later this month, he’ll return so he can get ready to leave.

The 35-year-old defenceman said the reality of leaving the Vancouver Canucks, the team that drafted him in 2004 and two years later gave him his first of 1,007 National Hockey League games, won’t seem real until he returns to the city in August and starts packing up his house for the move next season to the Los Angeles Kings.

After announcing through agent Mark Stowe that he planned to explore free agency for the first time in his career, Edler signed a one-year contract to play in Los Angeles last week.

Right now, he told Sportsnet in an interview from Stockholm, the change doesn’t seem real.

“Definitely weird,” he said. “I’ve been there my whole career, haven’t seen anything else. I think it’s going to feel even more weird when I come back to Vancouver. Being in Sweden, you’re kind of away from everything, so I don’t think it has really sunken in yet that I’m not going back to the Canucks, that I’m trying something new. That’s going to feel weird. But the whole family, we’re excited to try something new and move to L.A. I’m excited to play there and we’re all kind of excited…

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