The Washington Capitals are slowly getting healthier after dealing with a barrage of early-season injuries to start the 2023-24 campaign. Joel Edmundson, the rugged defender they acquired from the Montreal Canadiens this summer, is the latest skater to get a clean bill of health.
Edmundson was activated from long-term injured reserve on Saturday ahead of the team’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Edmundson has not played yet this season after fracturing his hand during Training Camp and is now set for his debut.
The Capitals announced the move alongside a slew of other transactions after Saturday’s optional morning skate.
NEWS | The Capitals have loaned defenseman Dylan McIlrath to the Hershey Bears. In addition, forward Anthony Mantha and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk have been activated from IR and defenseman Joel Edmundson has been activated from LTIR. https://t.co/ftjyOTqefb
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 18, 2023
In addition to Edmundson’s removal from LTIR, both Anthony Mantha and Trevor van Riemsdyk have been activated from regular injured reserve ahead of their respective returns to the lineup. To make room for them on the 23-man roster, Dylan McIlrath was sent back to the AHL’s Hershey Bears.
McIlrath got into one game during his short stint in DC. He left a big mark on that game though, leveling Vegas Golden Knights forward Jonas Rondbjerg with a huge hit and then crumpling Keegan Kolesar in a fight immediately after.
The Capitals are now carrying 14 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goaltenders. The first indication that Edmundson would indeed be making his Capitals debut on Saturday came when McIlrath and Alex Alexeyev stuck around after the morning skate to get in some extra work with forward Matthew Phillips.
Head coach Spencer Carbery spoke on Edmundson’s expected contributions to the lineup after that skate, also confirming that the big blueliner will immediately join the team’s penalty-killing unit.
“Physicality, his ability to defend, his range, his presence, his defensive-zone protecting the interior of the rink, being able to win pucks down low,” Carbery said of Edmundson. “There’s a lot of things that I think he’ll help that we’ve maybe missed a little bit back there from a really strong, reliable, hard defender that makes it difficult on opponents when they try to come to the interior against us. He makes it very uncomfortable when you come around the net-front areas.”
Edmundson played the last three seasons in Montreal after starting his career with the St. Louis Blues. Over the past couple years he has been hampered by injury issues that saw him play just 85 games in the last two seasons combined.
The 30-year-old, left-handed defender is expected to skate on the Capitals’ bottom pairing with a former Carolina Hurricanes teammate in van Riemsdyk. Edmundson was excited by the prospect of reuniting with TVR when he did his introductory press availability during the offseason.
“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.”
Here’s the press release from the team on the moves:
Capitals Loan Dylan McIlrath to Hershey
Forward Anthony Mantha and Defensemen Joel Edmundson and Trevor van Riemsdyk Activated from IR
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have loaned defenseman Dylan McIlrath to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. In addition, the Capitals have activated forward Anthony Mantha and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk from Injured Reserve (IR) and activated defenseman Joel Edmundson from Long-Term Injured Reserve (LTIR).
McIlrath, 31, has appeared in one game with Washington this season. In addition, McIlrath has recorded three assists in 11 games with Hershey this season and leads the Bears in penalty minutes (23).
The 6’5”, 240-pound defenseman recorded a career-high 13 assists and a team-leading 102 penalty minutes in 60 regular-season games with Hershey last season. McIlrath, Hershey’s captain, added two points (1g, 1a) and 44 penalty minutes in 20 playoff games during the Bears’ run to the Calder Cup championship. McIlrath also registered one assist and seven penalty minutes in six games with the Capitals in 2022-23.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native has appeared in 73 career NHL games with the Capitals, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings, recording six points (3g, 3a) and 133 penalty minutes. In 571 career AHL games, McIlrath has registered 116 points (27g, 89a).
Headline photo: Katie Adler/RMNB
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.