After a relatively hot start, the Montreal Canadiens’ season has seemingly gone off the rails. The team is mired in a six-game losing streak, and has lost nine of their last ten games. The team also came in last place in the entire NHL last season, but the difficulties that have hit the Candadiens haven’t stopped some of their players from wanting to remain a member of the NHL’s most storied franchise.
One of those players who’d like to stay is defenseman Joel Edmundson, whose contract is expiring at the end of next season. As reported by The Athletic’s Marc Antoine Godin, Edmundson has communicated a desire to remain in Montreal despite trade rumors featuring his name. (subscription link) The 29-year-old blueliner didn’t have the best season last year, but he remains a crucial member of the team’s leadership group and had an impressive campaign two years ago as the Canadiens made a run to the Stanley Cup final. One does wonder, though, if the Canadiens would be best suited to retain Edmundson beyond the trade deadline and into next season when instead they could potentially trade Edmundson to another team seeking a rental defenseman in order to net a younger player or draft pick.
Some other notes from across the Atlantic Division:
- Buffalo Sabres coach Don Granato told the media, including the Olean Times Herald’s Bill Hoppe, that defenseman Henri Jokiharju could return to play in a week. The 23-year-old defenseman was placed on injured reserve on December 11th. Should Jokiharju return at that point, the Sabres will likely need to create room on their roster, as they’re currently running a full roster of 23 players. Since they have seven defensemen currently active, it stands to reason that a depth blueliner such as Kale Clague would be the odd man out.
- Ottawa Senators forward Mathieu Joseph has made progress in his recovery from a lower-body injury that’s kept him sidelined since early December. Postmedia’s Bruce Garrioch reports that Joseph wore a contract jersey during practice this morning, meaning he could be nearing a return to full health. The former Tampa Bay Lightning winger has scored nine points in 25 games this season and has scored 21 points in 36 games in his Senators career.
- The Sabres have announced that two of the team’s top prospects, Jiri Kulich and Isak Rosen, have been re-assigned to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. Both Kulich and Rosen are returning from the World Junior Championships. Kulich has had a wildly successful year in the AHL so far, scoring 16 points in 24 games as an 18-year-old rookie, while Rosen has been solid, scoring 15 points in 25 games.
- Canadiens prospect Owen Beck has been traded to another OHL club, sent to the Peterborough Petes as part of a major blockbuster deal. Beck, 18, was drafted 33rd overall by the Canadiens at the 2022 draft and has 40 points in 30 games in the OHL this season.