Canadiens trade deadline: Who’s willing to take a risk on a partially-healthy Joel Edmundson?
Canadiens defenceman Joel Edmundson touring to California with the remainder of the workforce Sunday shouldn’t be taken for greater than it’s. He’s anticipated to follow with the workforce Monday, seemingly in a non-contact sweater, and the possibilities of him enjoying in an precise recreation earlier than the March 3 NHL trade deadline stay fairly slim, if not non-existent.
Nonetheless, that is a constructive improvement for Edmundson and permits for the chance that he could be moved prior to the deadline even when he doesn’t get into a recreation by then. As I wrote on Friday, I don’t know the extent to which the Canadiens could be willing to entertain a trade for Edmundson that includes conditional draft picks. They might relatively preserve him for subsequent season relatively than take the risk of getting the decrease choose if he doesn’t meet no matter threshold could be set on a conditional choose.
Would a workforce be willing to roll the cube that Edmundson’s “upper-body” harm, which is definitely a again subject, will rise up to the rigours of the Stanley Cup playoffs? Anybody who watched Edmundson play through the Canadiens’ run to the ultimate in 2021 and the St. Louis Blues’ run to the Cup in 2019 would discover it extraordinarily tempting as a result of he’s precisely the kind of defenceman a workforce with a lifelike probability of going that far would need.
Professional scouts I spoke to prior to this newest harm had been already expressing concern over Edmundson’s again, so this newest episode is bound to make that concern even higher. Some would have been willing to reside with the risk, others much less so. However Edmundson’s playoff historical past was one thing that acquired common enchantment in our conversations, and whereas some felt his play this season was a bit underwhelming, most had been fairly assured that in a playoff situation, he could be the identical participant we noticed in 2021 and 2019.
Whereas Jakob Chychrun and Vladislav Gavrikov stay in limbo awaiting a trade, whichever workforce is in on them and misses out would possibly simply be willing to chunk the bullet right here on what could be a high-risk, high-reward type of deal. That’s seemingly what it will take from the Canadiens to budge right here as a result of once more, they haven’t any drawback bringing Edmundson again subsequent season and the urge for food to settle for a conditional trade doesn’t appear all that prime.
However with the Canadiens additionally saying Saturday evening that Corey Schueneman had been despatched down to Laval, that means Kaiden Guhle is prepared to return to the lineup, it’s price taking a look at subsequent season’s depth chart on defence and questioning.
First off, one factor this season has made clear is that accidents occur and that they typically treatment logjams like this one. However the emergence of Arber Xhekaj as a official piece for the longer term, earlier than his season additionally got here to an finish with the Saturday announcement that he’ll want shoulder surgical procedure, makes issues a bit sophisticated on the left aspect of the Canadiens defence.
Mike Matheson doesn’t seem seemingly to be going wherever regardless of the rumours swirling round him proper now, and he’s enjoying some glorious hockey. Alongside him, Guhle and Xhekaj ought to already be penciled in for 2 spots on the left aspect of the Canadiens defence subsequent season. So the place does that go away Edmundson?
If it doesn’t occur by the deadline on Friday, maybe the Canadiens would want to take a look at an Edmundson trade on the draft to alleviate the state of affairs subsequent season, or maybe they determine to simply roll with 4 left-shot defencemen subsequent season and play Guhle on the best aspect as he was doing on the time he acquired injured.
However that hardly appears ultimate.
In the meantime, amid a flurry of medical updates from the Canadiens after their 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday — together with a be aware that Kirby Dach is now out indefinitely with a lower-body harm, one we’ve been informed is unrelated to no matter ailment was forcing him to skip practices since mid-January — the one factor that was lacking was an replace on Sean Monahan.
Monahan is not going to be on the California journey and any hope the Canadiens had of buying and selling him has principally vanished. It’s actually not the top of the world for the Canadiens, as a result of they already acquired a first-round choose only for taking Monahan’s contract off the Calgary Flames’ fingers.
However for Monahan, this has simply been an terrible sequence of occasions.
After years of distress overcoming hip points in Calgary, and sleepless nights riddled with ache and uncertainty, Monahan had lastly begun to take pleasure in enjoying hockey once more. The western Canada highway journey put a cease to all of that, and no matter occurred on that journey wants to be examined by each Monahan and the Canadiens.
As soon as once more, Monahan’s fundamental concern is his personal well being.
(Picture of Joel Edmundson: David Kirouac / Icon Sportswire by way of Getty Photographs)