According to Darren Dreger, the Montreal Canadiens have traded one of their veteran defencemen to the Washington Capitals.
The Habs received a third-round pick (Minnesota Wild) and a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft in exchange for Joel Edmundson.
The Canadiens will retain 50% of Edmundson’s contract next season.
NEWS | The Washington Capitals have acquired defenseman Joel Edmundson from the Montreal Canadiens for a third-round pick (originally acquired from Minnesota) and seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. Montreal will retain 50 percent of Edmundson's contract.#ALLCAPS
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 1, 2023
Edmundson, 30, dealt with significant injuries over the course of the last two seasons, including back issues, which severely limited his impact with the team. Edmundson had two goals and 11 assists in 61 games last year, acting as a defensive defenceman on the ice, as well as a mentor for rookie defencemen such as Kaiden Guhle, Arber Xhekaj, and Jordan Harris in the locker room.
He’s known as one of the most genuine and affable people in the hockey world, and tends to fit in perfectly in the locker room, making life a little easier on the young players that have not yet found their rhythm in the NHL.
He has one year left on his four-year contract that pays him an annual average value (AAV) of $3.5 million.
As for his on-ice play, it’s only fair to say Edmundson struggled last season, though it’s also important to note he probably shouldn’t have been playing big minutes given his health issues.
The Canadiens had two issues heading into free agency: a lack of salary cap space and a lack of roster spots. Trading Edmundson to the Capitals helps alleviate both problems.
The Canadiens also traded some of their draft capital during the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, including the 31st and 37th overall picks in exchange for Colorado Avalanche forward Alex Newhook. Picking up draft picks in a trade for Edmundson isn’t just a smart deal, it helps restock the cupboard for future drafts, a key aspect of any rebuild.