Just minutes after the 12:00 noon free agency period opened, Brian MacLellan and the Washington Capitals wasted no time making a move. Their first move was acquiring defenseman Joel Edmundson from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a third and seventh rounder in 2024.
Good trade execution yes. Player is questionable but will likely be the new Matt Irwin as the former Caps defenseman signed with the Vancouver Canucks.
The third rounder that the Caps are giving away to the Habs originally belonged to the Minnesota Wild in the Marcus Johansson trade.
Montreal will retain 50 percent of Edmundson’s contract. Per Cap Friendly, Edmundson’s contract will have a cap hit of $1.75 million.
The Caps now have six defenseman under contract for next season as of this writing getting published. Martin Fehervary has yet to be re signed as he remains a restricted free agent. He did get a qualifying offer on the eve of Free Agency.
Edmundson will enter his ninth NHL season having spent the past three years with the Habs. Last season he recorded 13 points in 61 games with two goals and 11 assists.
Across the league it looks like Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks wants out. The Sharks did get Antony Duclair from the Florida Panthers in exchange for Steven Lorentz and a 2025 fifth rounder.
Meanwhile while this is an older defenseman for the Caps that they’re getting I think it’s for insurance reasons. The fact they were able to get Montreal to eat half of his salary makes this a bargain trade for the Caps.
Grade B: Overall this was a good move to kick off free agency even though this wasn’t quite a free agent signing. We were waiting to see MacLellan do something and he finally did on Saturday afternoon. And the Caps are nowhere near from finished.