The Washington Capitals made a move to grab veteran defender Joel Edmundson from the Montreal Canadiens this past weekend, sending two draft picks in return. With the trade, Edmundson, 30, immediately becomes the most tenured and experienced member on the left side of the team’s blueline.
Edmundson is an eight-year veteran of the NHL, making stops in St. Louis Blues, Carolina Hurricanes, and Canadiens. As a member of the Hurricanes, he crossed paths and played with Caps defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk.
Edmundson spoke about that prior connection with TVR and his hopes to rekindle it in his first meeting with the media post trade on Wednesday.
“Me and Riemer had a full season together in Carolina,” Edmundson said. “We became really good friends. We’ve been chatting the past couple days and very excited to reconnect. Hopefully, we can bring a good connection on the ice and if we’re paired up together that’d be great. Close friends. Looking forward to being back on his team.”
Edmundson and TVR shared the ice for the Hurricanes during the 2019-20 campaign before both moved on to new teams the following season. They played 139 minutes together at five-on-five and the results from those minutes were poor despite Carolina being one of the best teams in the league at five-on-five.
With the two on the ice, the Canes saw just 47.5 percent of the shot attempts, 42.6 percent of the expected goals, 46.2 percent of the scoring chances, and 39.2 percent of the high-danger chances. The story there develops further when you look at how well TVR played without Edmundson to his left.
In TVR’s 512 five-on-five minutes without Edmundson, the Canes saw 55.2 percent of the shot attempts, 55.6 percent of the expected goals, 57.3 percent of the scoring chances, and 51.7 percent of the high-danger chances. Those numbers, albeit in a relatively small sample, could be a warning sign that Spencer Carbery and assistant coach Mitch Love should avoid reuniting the two on the ice just because they have past familiarity with one another.
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) July 1, 2023
One of the main forces impacting Edmundson’s play over the past couple of years have been recurring back injuries. Edmundson has played just 85 games in the last two seasons combined and those two campaigns are his worst as a pro statistically. Last season, the Habs were out-scored 71 to 36 with him on the ice at five-on-five.
Before those injury-plagued years though, Edmundson was clearly an effective defender for the Habs. During the 2020-21 season, he played in 55 games for Montreal and with him on the ice at five-on-five, the team had a 54.1 percent of the shot attempts, 52.1 percent of the expected goals, 56.2 percent of the scoring chances, and 52.2 percent of the high-danger chances. Outside of his injury problems, it must also be stated that the Habs have been an incredibly poor team overall the past two years, amassing just 53 total wins.
Edmundson does sound confident that he could find some of that prior good form with the Caps. And, he has detailed why he thinks those last two years have gone so poorly for him.
“Body is feeling really good,” Edmundson said. “This summer I just want to have a full, healthy summer of training and coming to camp strong. The last two seasons I got injured right before camp so I think that just put me behind the eight ball right away and got my season off to a slow start when everyone was already buzzing. Just looking forward to a healthy start to the season.”
The Capitals are no stranger to veteran players getting hurt and having their performances negatively affected by those injuries. They dealt with long-term or nagging injuries to Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, John Carlson, TJ Oshie, and Dmitry Orlov just last season.
Just like with Edmundson, they’ll be hoping a long break after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2014 will have its perks. That’s something that Oshie, who has had his own troubling back issues, told Edmundson in their first conversation after becoming teammates.
“Speaking to Oshie the day I got traded, he was like, ‘You’re coming into a good situation. We’re gonna be healthy and we’re hungry.’ That got me excited,” Edmundson said. “I think we can surprise a lot of teams this year. Obviously, we have some good leaders in the dressing room and the young guys they can play too. It’s a good combination.”
Screenshot via Capitals
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.