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Maple Leafs provide significant update on defenseman Joel Edmundson


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Matt Garland
April 8, 2024  (3:08 PM)
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Joel Edmundson wearing the new St. Pats jersey a few weeks back
Photo credit: JOHN E. SOKOLOWSKI-USA TODAY SPORTS

The Toronto Maple Leafs were back at practice on Monday, and following their morning skate, Sheldon Keefe shared a significant update on injured defenseman Joel Edmundson.

The hockey pundits had the Maple Leafs linked to every NHL defenseman on the trade market before the March 8th trade deadline, as general manager Brad Treliving was looking to upgrade his blueline. In the end, Leafs Nation added Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson to the roster to bolster the group for ahead of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Maybe not the most attractive names out there, but they have been effective for the Leafs when they've been in the lineup.
The 30-year-old Edmundson hasn't played since March 24th when he blocked a shot with his foot during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The 6-foot-5 defenseman has played seven games with the Leafs, averaging 17:43 in ice time. Edmundson has been effective in his short time in Toronto, providing fourteen hits and eleven blocked shots.
The Stanley Cup winning defender was traded to the Leafs by the Washington Capitals on March 7th in exchange for a 2024 third-round pick and a 2025 fifth-round pick, while the Capitals also retained 50% of his $3.5 million cap hit.
Edmundson was a participant in Toronto's practice on Friday and the team's morning skate on Monday, but won't be available for the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight. However, a return to the lineup appears to be imminent for Edmundson.
Head coach Sheldon Keefe spoke with the media after practice and had this to say when asked about if/when Edmundson would return to the lineup.
"He's close. There's a possibility for him this week. Not today or tomorrow, but if he continues to progress, he'll see the doctors soon to get that final assessment of where he's at. He's real close."

It is great news that Edmundson is getting healthy and able to play the final few games of the regular season in preparation for the playoffs. Toronto could use Edmundson's toughness and defensive acumen on the back end. The veteran blueliner has gone on deep playoff runs, winning with St. Louis in 2019, and reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 2021 with the Montreal Canadiens.
Keefe will be relying heavily on Edmundson's playoff experience with his blueline currently pretty thin on players who have substantial experience in the playoffs. Only Morgan Rielly, Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie have played at least 40 playoff games or more. Edmundson leads the way with 75 playoff games on his resume.
The Maple Leafs have six games remaining on the schedule, with all of them against teams in the playoffs or teams that are just on the outside looking to make one final push. It should be a good test for the team as they get prepared for when the playoffs officially begin on April 20th.
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Maple Leafs provide significant update on defenseman Joel Edmundson

Which newly acquired Maple Leafs player will have the biggest impact in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

Joel Edmundson24967.3 %
Ilya Lyubushkin7119.2 %
Connor Dewar5013.5 %
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