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Edmundson agrees to four-year contract with Canadiens

Defenseman gets $3.5 million annually, was acquired from Hurricanes for draft pick Sept. 12

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Joel Edmundson agreed to terms on a four-year, $14 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday. It has an average annual value of $3.5 million.

The defenseman was traded to the Canadiens by the Carolina Hurricanes on Sept. 12 for a fifth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. He could have become an unrestricted free agent after this season.

"As soon as I got traded there I knew that they were very interested and obviously you want to go to a team that really wants you," Edmundson said. "And the [Canadiens] have been the favorite team in my family for my whole life. My dad's a lifelong [Canadiens] fan, and my dad's side of the family is French so they all love the Canadiens, and it just made sense. So it's a dream come true for me, and also my family."

Edmundson scored an NHL career-high 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 68 games with the Hurricanes this season, his first with them after being traded by the St. Louis Blues on Sept. 24, 2019.

The 27-year-old scored one goal in four games this postseason. Carolina was eliminated by the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference First Round after sweeping the New York Rangers in the best-of-5 Stanley Cup Qualifiers.

Selected by St. Louis in the second round (No. 46) of the 2011 NHL Draft, Edmundson has scored 72 points (20 goals, 52 assists) in 337 regular-season games in five seasons with the Blues and Hurricanes.

He has scored 15 points (six goals, nine assists) in 53 Stanley Cup Playoff games and helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup in 2019.

"I just think [winning the Stanley Cup] gives you more confidence," Edmundson said. "But at the same time once all the celebrating is over with, you just want to get that feeling over again. So I just want to go out there and give everything I can to win another one because that feeling is so special. And hopefully we can do that in Montreal, which I'm very excited about. I think we have a good team and we're just getting better every year, so I'm looking forward to it and hopefully we can bring one back to Montreal, the 25th one."

The Canadiens, who were the No. 12 seed in the Eastern Conference, defeated the No. 5 seed Pittsburgh Penguins in four games in the Qualifiers, before losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in six games in the first round of the playoffs.

"Whenever we played in Montreal it was always exciting to be in the Bell Centre, so I'm definitely looking forward to that," Edmundson said. "But whenever we think about Montreal it's a speedy team, they work their tail off every night. They're a hardworking team. And I know [defenseman Shea] Weber, I know [goalie Carey Price], I know my buddy (goalie) Jake Allen from St Louis, so it's nice that I have some familiar faces in the dressing room. And a lot of those guys have reached out to me already, so it's nice of them.

"Yeah, you've got [Weber] on the back end, you've got in my mind the best goalie in the world behind you (Price), so it's little things like that make me really excited to join the team. And they're also very young up front, so lots of potential."

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