The Montreal Canadiens have signed 27-year-old defenceman Joel Edmundson to a four-year, $14 million contract, worth an annual average value of $3.5 million. This news comes almost exactly four days after Montreal acquired Edmundson’s rights from Carolina, in a trade that saw a 2020 fifth round draft pick head to the Hurricanes as compensation.
In signing with the Canadiens, the Brandon product chose not to test the waters of the NHL’s unrestricted free agency, opting to put pen to paper on a deal with a team that went out of its way to acquire the big blueliner.
The contract carries a limited 10-team no trade clause and is broken down like so:
2020-21, $2.75M salary
2021-22, $2.5M salary plus $1M signing bonus
2022-23, $2.75M salary plus $2M signing bonus
2023-24, $1M salary plus $2M signing bonus
Total: $9M salary, $5M signing bonus
Listed at 6-foot-4 an 217 pounds, Edmundson will join a defence corps consisting of Alexander Romanov, Ben Chiarot and Victor Mete on the left side – an absolute logjam. As a shutdown defender, the former AAA Brandon Wheat Kings star will certainly carry a significant role moving forward with the Habs.
Although one year longer in length, Edmundson’s new contract nearly mirrors the deal handed out to former Winnipeg Jet Ben Chiarot by Montreal last offseason (three-year, $10.5 million), while the two will look to complement a blueline led by captain Shea Weber.
Edmundson, 27, spent the past season with the Carolina Hurricanes after four years with the St. Louis Blues – to which he won the Stanley Cup in the 2018-19 season. The 6-foot-4, 215-pound blueliner had seven goals, 20 points and 72 penalty minutes for the Canes in 68 games last year, before scoring once and adding one penalty in four postseason contests.
The former Moose Jaw Warrior has suited up for 337 total regular season NHL games, in which he has put up 20 goals, 72 points and 320 total penalty minutes. His 53 playoff games have seen six goals, 15 points and 34 penalty minutes. Edmundson was originally selected 46th overall in the second round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues.