The Toronto Maple Leafs Must Avoid the Dumbest Signing Possible

Apr 16, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Joel Edmundson (20) moves the
Apr 16, 2024; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Joel Edmundson (20) moves the / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs have a lot of hard decisions to make this summer.

But one of those decisions is not hard at all. In fact, it's incredibly obvious: The Toronto Maple Leafs should not sign Joel Edmundson to a contract extension.

His time in a Leafs uniform was a disaster and he should not be retained under any circumstances.

It's the easiest decision Brad Treliving has to make.

The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Not Sign Joel Edmundson

The Leafs blue-line was easily the worst of any team's that made the Stanley Cup Playoffs this year.

The Leafs will be sticking with Morgan Rielly because they have to, and Jake McCabe will be back because his contract offers some of the best value in the NHL.

Timothy Liljegren was a 53% player who played several games on the top pairing, a bunch on the second pairing and mostly played on the 3rd. pairing. He's young, cheap, mobile, and a good puck-mover. Smart teams build around these kinds of players.

Simon Benoit is signed and is a decent depth player. He's an idea #7. That's four of seven defenseman the Leafs have for next season. They can't bring any of the other ones back if they want to live up to their promise to make changes.

The rest of the Leafs blue-line: Joel Edmundson, Ilya Lyubushkin, TJ Brodie, Mark Giordano, and Conor Timmins is, most likely, not returning. There is always the option to bring them back, however.

Joel Edmundson and Ilya Lyubushkin are popular players that many people want the Leafs to re-sign. If you have to pick one, pick Lyubushkin, but even he shouldn't be back.

Edmundson though? The idea is just ridiculously bad. He is an awful player who hurt the team and next year he'll be older.

Edmundson is 30 and is left handed, those are two strikes against him. The Leafs need to get younger, faster and better at moving the puck. He is terrible at the latter two, and can't help the first one.

In 16 games with the Leafs (nine regular season, seven in the playoffs) Edmundson was a disaster and a complete waste of the draft picks used to acquire him.

Edmundson was brought in for his defense, but all he did was get hemmed in his own zone and make life harder for the Leafs goalies. He was a key reason why the Leafs had such trouble scoring goals in the playoffs.

The sum total of his offensive contributions was one assist in 16 games. Players who don't bring any offense need to play perfect defense to be effective and Edmundson certainly does not do that. What he does do is make it harder for offensive players to succeed.

In Edmundson's 9 regular season games, the opposition had the puck 53% of the time. although he did post a positive Corsi in the playoffs, likely do some garbage time minutes and score effects.

The Leafs were outshot (49% to 51%) in both the regular seaosn and playoffs with Edmundson on the ice, and while they won his minutes in the regular seaosn, his expected goals rating a brutal 48%.

In the playoffs they lost his minutes 4-3 and his expected goals rating was atrocious, coming in at just 41%. (all stats

Edmundson is slow, can't pass, can't handle the puck, takes dumb penalties, and gets hemmed in his own end. If you wanted to tank and get the first overall pick, he's one of the first players you would sign.


It was misguided lunacy to give away draft picks for him in the first place, and re-signing him is one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Brad Treliving has a lot of hard decisions to make, but letting Joel Edmundson walk isn't one of them.