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Maple Leafs should attempt to re-sign Joel Edmundson

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Photo credit:Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
28 days ago
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Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving will have plenty of things to do this summer and re-signing Joel Edmundson should be one of his top priorities.
Treliving is in the middle of the interview process for the team’s head coaching vacancy and once the coaching staff is solidified, look for Toronto’s GM to try and shore up some of his pending unrestricted free agents. Edmundson along with Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi should be among the select few players on the current roster to receive multi-year offers.
Toronto acquired Edmundson shortly before the trade deadline as it was in the market for some size, physicality and playoff pedigree on the back end. Treliving was confident in Edmundson’s skill set and he delivered. Edmundson emerged as one of the Maple Leafs’ most consistent defensemen against the Bruins, he finished third in average ice time among Toronto’s defenders, led the team in shorthanded minutes, while landing 22 hits and 12 blocked shots in six playoff games.
It was Edmundson’s intimidation factor, his willingness to engage physically that proved to be beneficial for the Maple Leafs. There’s been way too many times throughout the past five or six seasons where the Maple Leafs were pushed around and weren’t taken seriously. Edmundson did a great job to give the team more ‘snot’ and ‘piss and vinegar’ which Treliving openly coveted.
It’s also worth pointing out that Craig Berube is likely going to be named as Toronto’s next head coach imminently and he’d likely appreciate having a 6-foot-5 aggressive defenseman on his blue line. Edmundson and Berube know each other very well from their days together in St Louis, where they won the Stanley Cup in 2019. Familiarity goes a long way for a new coach.

Treliving Could Have Flexible Offseason Financially

Toronto is projected to have $18.5 million in cap space to work with this offseason. Domi and Bertuzzi could potentially eat up about $10 million combined and there’s a number of restricted free-agents to consider as well, including Nick Robertson, Timothy Liljegren, Connor Dewar and Noah Gregor.
But what about the Mitch Marner trade rumours?
With management suggesting there’s a ton of change coming this summer, Marner and his $10.9 million contract could provide Treliving with some needed financial flexibility . There’s also the need for another goalie to pair with Joseph Woll, which certainly complicates things significantly when it comes to spending.
I wouldn’t expect Treliving to match any team dollar-for-dollar in any significant trade, regardless if that’s centred around Marner or another core player and use the transaction to create some more cap space. It would allow for them to have more options on the free-agent market, but also ensure there’s room to bring back Edmundson.
The 2024 free-agent market is littered with defensive defensemen, however, there aren’t many who have a Stanley Cup on their resume like Edmundson does. Treliving would be wise to try and lock an extension in before July 1 when free agency begins. Until the coaching staff is finalized and the potential Marner trade saga is solved, it’s going to be interesting to see how the Leafs’ GM prioritizes his time.
Toronto have Morgan Rielly, Jake McCabe, Simon Benoit and Conor Timmins signed for next season. Liljegren’s been mentioned as a potential trade candidate, and the Leafs’ defense core is going to look much different next season. Treliving may have landed Berube as the team’s next head coach. His next priority should be signing Edmundson to a multi-year contract extension. It’s very likely Berube would appreciate the gesture.

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