Capitals acquire Edmundson and Stars trade Miller to the Devils on 1st day of NHL free agency

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — A few trades happened on the first day of NHL free agency, just not the blockbuster everyone is waiting for.

Erik Karlsson remained with San Jose on Saturday night, with interested teams still circling around the Norris Trophy-winning defenseman. But the Sharks did make a trade, and rivals around the league completed some smaller deals to shore up blue line depth.

San Jose acquired forward Anthony Duclair from Eastern Conference-champion Florida for Steven Lorentz and a 2025 fifth-round pick.

“He’s a player that I think brings a little bit of a different element that we don’t have have here on the roster with his speed and goal-scoring ability and the pace of play,” general manager Mike Grier said on a video call Saturday night.

Elsewhere, the Washington Capitals acquired Joel Edmundson from the Montreal Canadiens for third- and seventh-round picks in the 2024 draft. Montreal is retaining half of Edmundson’s salary in the final year of his contract, which means Washington gets him at a bargain cap hit of $1.75 million.

The Dallas Stars also traded Colin Miller to the New Jersey Devils for a fifth-round pick in 2025. Miller had an assist in 10 playoff games with Dallas.

Karlsson is the big fish available in the trade market, and the Sharks have made it well-known the 33-year-old coming off a 101-point season is available.

“Nothing new there,” Grier said. “It’s all quiet at the moment. Nothing going on.”

Asked about Karlsson, Pittsburgh GM Kyle Dubas didn’t want to break any tampering rules but certainly didn’t rule out being involved in the sweepstakes.

“It’s incumbent on me to reach out and see if there’s a fit there for us,” Dubas said. “Any time there’s a player of that caliber that comes available throughout my time here, especially in this next stretch, it’s probably realistic to think that we’ll be involved or see if there’s a way that we we can be involved and add them to our group.”

Carolina has also been linked to Karlsson. GM Don Waddell, who brought back his top two goalies and signed arguably two of the top free agents available, did not mention Karlsson by name but said the Hurricanes could still make more moves.

“If could make our team better, we were going to find ways to do that,” Waddell said. “If you’re asking me about any particular position, I would say no. I think we’re pretty well covered right now. If we did move a defenseman, let’s say, and we wanted to make a play for another one, that’s still an option.”

Metropolitan Division-rival Washington already added one in Edmundson, who helped St. Louis win the Stanley Cup in 2019 and has been traded three times since. A nagging back injury limited him to 61 games last season with Montreal.

Edmundson, 30, gives the Capitals an experienced left-handed-shooting defenseman after trading Dmitry Orlov to Boston before the deadline. Washington also signed winger Max Pacioretty, who’s coming off tearing his right Achilles tendon twice during the past year.

Dallas re-signed defenseman Joel Hanley to a $1.58 million, two-year contract and added forward Craig Smith for $1 million for next season.

New Jersey re-signed a pair of young forwards: Michael McLeod for $1.4 million next season and Nathan Bastian for $2.7 million over two years.


AP Sports Writers Will Graves and Aaron Beard contributed.


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