ARLINGTON, VA–The Capitals will officially be without both of their biggest offseason acquisitions to start the regular season. On Wednesday morning, the team announced that defenseman Joel Edmundson will miss 4-6 weeks after undergoing a procedure on a fractured hand.
Edmundson’s injury came on Sunday during an intrasquad scrimmage ahead of the team’s first preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres. He missed practice Tuesday before having a meeting with team doctors to determine the injury’s severity.
Capitals defenseman Joel Edmundson underwent a procedure on Tuesday to stabilize his fractured hand. Based on the nature of the injury, Edmundson is expected to miss 4-6 weeks.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) September 27, 2023
When speaking with reporters Tuesday afternoon, head coach Spencer Carbery said that Edmundson’s prognosis was “probably not good” and noted that the injury could open up a spot in the lineup for one of the team’s younger defensemen.
“It’s what these guys want, right?” Carbery said. “They want to prove that they’re an everyday NHL player on a good team. So it’s right there, I love that. I mean, not for Joel’s case — but for guys that are just waiting for that one break to be able to get into the lineup. And sometimes it comes in another person’s misfortune.”
Edmundson is no stranger to missing time after spending the previous few years dealing with an unrelated back injury. Over the past two seasons, he played only 85 games. He joined the Capitals in July in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens.
“It’s tough,” Carbery said of the repeated injuries. “He’s battled some stuff over the last couple years and this is a little bit of a fresh start for him. I felt like he’s in a really good place getting here a little bit early, starting to integrate himself with the group.”
Now, the Capitals will evaluate potential replacements for Edmundson’s roster spot. Carbery highlighted Alex Alexeyev, Lucas Johansen, Vincent Iorio, and Hardy Häman Aktell as potential options on the team’s third pairing.
Max Pacioretty, the Capitals’ other major summer acquisition, will also likely be absent from the Opening Night lineup recovering from a torn Achilles tendon.
The Caps will play their next preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, with their October 13 season opener fast approaching.
Headline photo: Katie Adler/RMNB
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