Canadiens Trade Tracker: Edmundson To Tampa Not A Fit?
It appears that there is indeed still a market for Montreal Canadiens defenceman Joel Edmundson, but the Tampa Bay Lightning likely aren’t a good fit.
After first being reported on Wednesday night by Lightning Insider, the Tampa Bay Lightning have checked in on Joel Edmundson.
Although the Lightning created some extra cap space on Wednesday night by trading Vladislav Namestnikov to the San Jose Sharks, it just doesn’t seem viable until Edmundson gets into some games.
For a deal to work with both clubs, the Montreal Canadiens would either need to retain 50% of Joel Edmundson‘s $3.5M cap hit, or the Canadiens would need to take back a contract.
A deal of that sort could be interesting to the Lightning, who will look to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for a fourth consecutive year, but here’s what the Canadiens could work with.
What Does Tampa Have?
Right off the bat, you can forget about a 1st-round pick, as the Lightning have traded their 1st-rounders until the 2026 NHL Draft.
Their most valuable piece is 2022 1st-round pick Isaac Howard, who, despite a very underwhelming season at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, remains a very intriguing prospect for the Canadiens.
His five goals and nine assists for 14 points in 30 games don’t jump out at you right away, but looking at Minnesota-Duluth’s roster quickly shows a veteran-heavy lineup in front of Howard.
He was a highly touted player in the 2022 NHL Draft with the potent United States Development Team.
COCKY celebration by Isaac Howard @venividiveech @MN_NCAA 5-3 UMD pic.twitter.com/gY1i9cefSC
— Alex Micheletti (@AlexMicheletti) January 29, 2023
Another former USNDT alum in Dylan Duke could also be a piece of interest.
The former 4th round pick has been a big part of the University of Michigan this season, putting up 26 goals and nine assists for 25 points in 34 games.
USA restores the two-goal lead, Dylan Duke deflects home a Pastujov shot to get one past Brinkman, 6-4 USA #U18Worlds @FCHockey pic.twitter.com/5RRKvbsuNz
— Brandon Holmes (@BHolmes_Hockey) April 27, 2021
The Tampa Bay Lightning also have an intriguing prospect in Finland by the name of Niko Huuhtanen, currently having himself quite the season in the Finnish Liiga.
The 6’2, 209lbs forward has amassed an impressive 16 goals and 13 assists for 29 points in just 44 games.
Initially, a 7th-round pick by the Lightning in 2021, the rugged forward has a very interesting combination of size and skill and looks like another late-round steal by the Lightning.
🔥 Kuuma – kuumempi – Niko Huuhtanen 🔥
🥅 Viiden ottelun maaliputki päällä
🏒 Viimeisen seitsemän ottelun tehot 6+3
1️⃣ Tulokkaiden pistepörssin kärki
Tämä mies on nähtävä paikan päällä – tule keskiviikkona toteamaan vire Ikiomalle!
🎟 https://t.co/xretjjMjpV#Jukurit #Liiga pic.twitter.com/dUP0tR23Ny
— Mikkelin Jukurit (@MikkelinJukurit) February 5, 2023
Although there are some prospects of interest, the trade fit likely isn’t there.
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How about Pittsburgh? Reunite him with Petry when both were at their best when paired with each other.
The most interesting prospect for the CH could be the goalie Hugo Alnefelt. As a rookie playing for the AHL Syracuse Crunch, he maintained good stats (GAA 2.38; SV% 0.919) in 24 games played (14 Wins). The SV% is the 4th best in the AHL and the GAA, the 6th. He has decent size (6’3″, 183 lbs). Some experts project him as only a backup at the NHL level, other as a solid 1A/1B goaltender
I feel that the Canadiens should get more from another team, if not now, some time before the 2024 trade deadline, but if the goal is to free a roster spot for the rookies, it might not be such a bad trade if there were no salary retention. What player could TBL send back to make the money work? Probably not a fit as the title indicates…