The Washington Capitals made their first move on the opening of NHL Free Agency by making a trade with the Montreal Canadiens. They acquired defenseman Joel Edmundson for a third round pick that was originally acquired from the Minnesota Wild and a seventh round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
The 30 year old recorded 13 points with two goals and 11 assists in 61 games with the Canadiens last season. The Brandon, Manitoba native ranked second among Habs defensemen in hits with 112 and blocked shots with 149 last season as well as fourth in ice time per game at 19:34.
Additionally, Edmundson averaged 3:19 of shorthanded ice time per game, which raked second in the NHL among defensemen.
The six foot five, 221 pound defenseman recorded 104 points with 28 goals and 76 assists in 477 career games with Montreal, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the St. Louis Blues.
Edmundson, who was originally drafted by St. Louis in the second round at 46th overall in the 2011 NHL Draft, was a member of the Blues’ 2019 Stanley Cup championship team, appearing in 22 of the team’s 26 playoff contests.
Montreal will retain 50 percent of Edmundson’s contract.
Edmundson will carry a cap hit of $1.75 million. He is an unrestricted free agent next summer. Per Cap Friendly, the Caps have $5,563,333 in cap space.
Conor Sheary has signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning so now the Caps need a forward either from within their organization or somewhere on the market.
The one question I have about this particular move the Caps just made is what does this all mean for Martin Fehervary. He’s a younger defenseman who is in need of a contract. Do the Caps still bring him back?
Looks like Matt Irwin is definitely not coming back. Another question is what will this move mean for what the top four will look like on opening night? Stay tuned as they say.