The Montreal Canadiens made a couple of trades in the offseason, with the biggest surprise coming when they traded a couple of draft picks for Alex Newhook.
It was really not a surprise when the team traded Joel Edmundson, though the chances of a deal every happening did feel like they were running out. He would have been a trade target at last year’s trade deadline, but a suspicious injury that lingered much longer than expected kept him out of the lineup until days before the deadline.
Teams were a little wary of giving up any assets for the veteran defenseman at that point and he stayed in Montreal the rest of the season. He did suit up for 61 games by season’s end and had two goals and 13 points, but the 6’5″ defender’s calling card is his ability to shut down the opposition on a nightly basis. He has proven to be especially effective in playoff series where he uses his physical stature to wear down opposing players over a long series.
That was what the Washington Capitals had in mind when they traded for him in the summer. The Canadiens ate half of Edmundson’s $3.5 million salary for the upcoming season and received third and seventh round picks in the 2024 NHL Draft for him.
Had Edmundson been healthy, the Canadiens would have been looking for a lot more for the 30 year old. But, he was rarely healthy over the past two years, and the trade seemed fair at the time, considering his injury history.
Yesterday, the Capitals announced that Edmundson is injured yet again, this time with a fractured hand, and will be out 4-6 weeks. He underwent a procedure on Tuesday to stabilize his hand, but he will miss significant time to begin the season.
This was the risk the Canadiens would have run had they kept Edmundson this season. If he stayed fully healthy and played well, they could have gotten a better return at the trade deadline than they did in the offseason. But, if he got hurt and didn’t play, they would get nothing.
The Canadiens chose to take third and seventh round picks, and with yet another injury to Edmundson before he has played a game with the Capitals, the Habs were lucky to get the return they did in the summer.
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