Defenceman Joel Edmundson is one of the Montreal Canadiens’ most discussed assets on the NHL trade market.
The veteran blueliner has been linked to the Edmonton Oilers recently, but there may be other teams that could show interest in the Stanley Cup winner.
Following a discussion with NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun, Marc-Antoine Godin and Arpon Basu of The Athletic opined on a pair of teams that could be a good fit in a trade involving Edmundson.
“We just discussed Joel Edmundson,” said Godin in the most recent episode of Le Support Athletique (French). “And there’s a team that comes to mind in his case, the Washington Capitals. They don’t have much space under the salary cap, but we can say the same about the Edmonton Oilers.
“At the end of the year, they’ll have several contracts expire. In Edmundson’s case, there’s another year left on his contract. Teams that might have interest in Edmundson will be teams that have no salary cap issues on the horizon next season.”
As it stands, every Capitals defenceman is in the last year of their contract, five of whom are set to become unrestricted free agents.
In other words, they may be looking for a little stability beyond this season, and that’s where Edmundson’s contract, which expires in 2023-24, comes into play.
Edmundson’s annual average salary is also quite reasonable, at $3.5 million per season.
“The Capitals could easily absorb his cap hit next year. It’s clear they need help defensively, and the fact that Edmundson is a veteran fits with the overall ‘win-now’ age range of the team and their modus operandi. In terms of practicality, it seems to be a good destination for Edmundson.”
Aujourd'hui au Support Athlétique, @ArponBasu et moi revenons sur la soirée P.K. Subban, et on reçoit @PierreVLeBrun pour discuter de la façon dont le Canadien se positionne sur le marché des transactions.
— Marc Antoine Godin (@MAGodin) January 13, 2023
At 37 years old, Alex Ovechkin has shown no signs of slowing down when it comes to his ridiculous scoring rate, but it does stand to reason that given there are several other players in that age range on the team, including T.J. Oshie (36), and Nicklas Backstrom (35), time is running out for the Capitals to make another run at the Stanley Cup.
And while the Capitals may want to add reinforcements for one last push, teams like the Carolina Hurricanes seem to be poised to make a healthy push in the playoffs, which leads Basu to believe they could potentially show interest in the Canadiens defenceman.
“The Carolina Hurricanes seem to fit that bill as well,” said Basu. “They’re playing well since Max Pacioretty returned, and Joel Edmundson is familiar with the team. They could use help on defence. They could also fit him in their salary structure next season. It’s not as if they have a bad defence, but to make a good run you need depth and physicality, and that’s something Edmundson brings to the table.”
Edmundson’s true value does come to the forefront in the playoffs, where the war of attrition does play a significant role in a seven-game series.
If the Canadiens hope to maximize the return, they’d likely have to retain some salary, which could end up leading to yet another first-round pick acquisition by Kent Hughes.
Hughes has made it clear he wants to add a third choice in the first round of the upcoming Draft, which happens to be projected as one of the best prospect pools in recent history.
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