Carolina Hurricanes Trade Joel Edmundson Rights to Montreal

The Carolina Hurricanes have traded the rights to Defenseman Edmundson.

The Carolina Hurricanes have moved the rights to defender Joel Edmundson in exchange for a fifth-round pick from the Montreal Canadiens.

With the first trade of the offseason for the Hurricanes, it looks like they will be clearing out some of the log-jam on defense. It starts with Joel Edmundson, or rather his pending UFA rights, to the short-lived rival Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft.

While this seems like a clean-cut trade, especially for the Carolina Hurricanes, there are layers to this that make this a clear win for the Canes.

Before this trade, the Carolina Hurricanes had ten NHL caliber defenders on the roster. Jaccob Slavin, Dougie Hamilton, Brett Pesce, Brady SkjeiTrevor van Riemsdyk, Haydn Fleury, Jake Gardiner, Sami Vatanen, Jake Bean, and Joel Edmundson. There was no way that at least two or three of these players were not going to be playing for new teams next year.

Easily enough four of those players were going to be free agents next year. Vatanen, TVR, and Edmundson will become unrestricted free agents, and Fleury a restricted free agent unless they get signed before October 9th’s Free Agency starts.

I did not and still do not expect any of the UFAs to be signed by the Carolina Hurricanes, not when you need to save money to pay Hamilton and Svechnikov before the start of next year’s free agency. If I can expect that, then so can other teams and their management. So this trade took me a bit by surprise.

For those who are wondering, this trade isn’t for Joel Edmundson as a player, it’s for the right to try and negotiate a contract with him before Free Agency starts. The Montreal Canadiens traded a fifth-round pick for a 27-day head start on the competition to convince Joel Edmundson to sign and play for their team.

To me, this is an insane trade. This is an extremely deep draft coming up. Some players have already begun to play in the European leagues, especially the players that will go in the deeper rounds. That gives teams and their scouts an even better look at them. These picks have a lot of value and can be used to move up or down the draft order too.

The Carolina Hurricanes were going to go into this draft without a fifth-round pick, having traded the 146th pick of the draft along with a single season of Justin Faulk to the Blues for Dominik Bokk and Joel Edmundson. They will now get back a fifth-round pick, more specifically the 140th pick, moving up six spots, in exchange for the rights to Joel Edmundson.

Don Waddell cannot be happier with this arrangement. Edmundson will probably be looking for a multi-year deal, which was never going to happen in Carolina. In 27 days he was set to be an unrestricted free agent meaning that any and all returns for this trade are basically free assets from whatever team they swindled.

The Montreal Canadiens are desperate for better defensive help and the Stanley Cup Champion Edmundson will absolutely be a factor in returning them to contention, but if they fail to sign him in the next 27 days, they will have given up a fifth-round pick for nothing.

Now teams don’t make trades like these if they weren’t convinced that a player signing can and will happen, but if there is enough confidence that you will get the player to trade a draft pick, why not wait until free agency and hold onto your pick? That is a question for Marc Bergevin who has so far, made two questionable decisions when it comes to dealing with the Hurricanes.

Question For CC Readers: What do you think of the trade?

Next: Hurricanes change affiliation to the Wolves
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