Screenshot: Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals weren’t heavy players in the opening hours of free agency as in years’ past, however the team added two notable players via the open market and trade in forward Max Pacioretty and Joel Edmundson. The latter met with the media today for the first time since being dealt to Washington.
The 3o-year old, 6’5″ blueliner brings a lot of qualities to the backend, including a hard-nosed presence in front of the net which he hopes will benefit Capitals goalies Darcy Kuemper and Charlie Lindgren next season.
“Just being solid in front of the goalie, making sure he can see the puck”, said Edmundson of his playing style, “I love to use my stick to my defense, cross-checks, and just make the opposition’s night miserable. I think that’s what got me to this point in my career.”
While his physicality is an asset, he believes leadership and experience can help the Capitals after a season in which they missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2014.
“I just want to be a good guy in that locker room” Edmundson said, “I hear they have a fun group in there, so I just want to go in there and be a leader in my own type of way.”
The Caps’ blueline has a number of young players who will be vying for playing time next season, including Martin Fehervary and Alex Alexeyev (both left-handed). While an established veteran such as Edmundson might feel pressure, he sees it as an opportunity to benefit from.
“They’re skilled guys, they’ve got some good patience. Maybe they can teach me a thing or two also. I want to be a guy they can lean on. I’ve been in the league, going into my ninth year now and I’ve had a lot of good teammates.”
“I’ve had a lot of good mentors in my career so I just want to be that guy for those guys.”
While having played in the Top-4 and elsewhere in his career, Edmundson says he will play wherever is necessary to help the Capitals win this season.
“That’s not really a main focus for me right now…for me it doesn’t matter if I’m first, second, or third pair, I just want to be a guy that’s reliable.”
By Michael Fleetwood