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Canadiens Could Have Options For Edmundson In Summer Trade



Montreal Canadiens defenceman Joel Edmundson

The Montreal Canadiens couldn’t get the timing or the price right on a Joel Edmundson trade at the NHL Trade Deadline, but they’ll likely have a better market to look forward to this summer.

There were a handful of teams that were interested in acquiring Edmundson prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, but an untimely back injury kept him at the wrong time.

By missing out on most of the month of February, Edmundson couldn’t convince NHL teams to pay the price the Canadiens wanted.

In short, the timing wasn’t good.

Edmundson will now finish the season in Montreal, but still has an extra year remaining on his $3.5M deal.

A strong and, most importantly, healthy finish to the season could go a long way in convincing rival teams that his back issues are indeed behind him.

There were said to be at least three teams in the running for Edmundson last week, and there could likely be more come June and July.

According to an NHL source, the Canadiens’ veteran is likely to have an even larger pool of interested teams in the offseason, with some salary relief coming for most cap-strapped teams.

These sentiments were also shared by NHL Insider, Pierre Lebrun, as he wrote for the Athletic that Edmundson’s back injury does appear to be behind him and that there should be a market in the summer.

“There are two more fertile windows for the Habs to entertain trade offers: at the draft and at the next deadline,” wrote Lebrun on the Canadiens’ patience in not forcing a move. “How Edmundson finishes off this season as far as his health will be of interest to several clubs.”

Prior to March 3, the extra year on Joel Edmundson‘s deal may have scared off a few teams, who were unsure of his health situation being a minor, short-term issue or a lingering, long-term concern.

With Edmundson seemingly back to full health and playing north of 18 minutes in Montreal’s tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes last night, a strong finish will go a long way in convincing teams that he is still a coveted piece on the market.

The Canadiens also held on to one of their retention slots leading up to the NHL Draft, in order to give themselves some flexibility in helping teams fit a player like Edmundson in their fiscal structure.

With the Canadiens unlikely to truly compete for the NHL Playoffs next year unless some major moves occur, retaining salary on the last year of Edmundson’s deal to sweeten the pot could make for an even more interesting return.

The next five weeks will be of great interest to Montreal Canadiens general manager, Kent Hughes, especially as the Canadiens continue their quest to acquire a third 1st-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.

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I think we’d get the best return by trading a healthy Edmundson at next year’s deadline when GMs pay silly prices for the final pieces in a Cup run. Having said that, I’d be totally shocked if he was still with the team by the beginning of next year. We already have too many Dmen with the 5 rookies, Matheson and Savard, so Edmundson going to a guarantee. Trading him prior to or at the draft will bring back a lesser return than at a deadline, but more than we’d get if we traded him once free agency began, and the cap space teams have begins to dry up. I think people hoping for a Chiarot-like return will be disappointed, but if they realize that all we paid to get him in 2020 was a 5th round pick, they’ll realize that we are definitely coming out ahead in what we will acquire when we do trade him.

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