Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin announced today that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Joel Edmundson on a one-way, four-year contract (from 2020-21 to 2023-24) with a $ 3,500,000 AAV.
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) September 16, 2020
Joel Edmundson Re-Signs With Montreal
Only a few days after trading for Joel Edmundson’s rights, the Canadiens were able to work out a new deal for the defenceman before he became an unrestricted free agent in October. Edmundson will be on his third team in three years. Last season, he played 68 games with the Carolina Hurricanes recording 20 points (seven goals and 13 assists). He played in four playoff games recording one goal.
Originally drafted by the St. Louis Blues in the second round, 46th overall in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, winning a Stanley Cup with them in the 2018-19 season. The Blues then Edmundson traded to the Hurricanes as part of the Justin Faulk deal. For his career, Edmundson has recorded 72 points (20 goals and 52 assists) in 337 regular-season games. In 53 career playoff games, Edmundson has 15 points (six goals and nine assists).
On the surface, many people will wonder why trade for a defenceman when the Canadiens are several years away from contending. Having too much depth on defence is a good thing. Just look at the teams still alive in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Defencemen often get injured easily and we have seen over the years the inability for top players to stay healthy for a full 82-game season. During the Blues run to the Stanley Cup, Edmundson played a big role on the back end. The Canadiens are hoping the same production. At six-foot-four, 215lbs, Edmundson is a big body that can eat minutes. He averaged over 18 minutes per game last season for the Hurricanes. He plays a physical style that can benefit the Canadiens system. In addition, Edmundson can be that shutdown defenseman on a bottom pair.
The Canadiens know what Shea Weber brings to the table, but having Edmundson just makes the Canadiens a little better on defensively. With Ben Chiarot, Victor Mete, Brett Kulak, as well as top defence prospect Alexander Romanov battling it out for a roster spot on the left, adding Edmundson, makes it crowded over there. There is a chance general manager Marc Bergevin decides to make a trade and uses one of his left-shot defencemen to add more offence. But then again it is never a bad thing to have too many defencemen.
It has already been a busy off-season for Bergevin with the acquisition of Jake Allen and now Edmundson. Look for him to be even busier when free-agency begins.
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