February 9th, 2011, 12:16 pm
Ian White is eating Cracker Barrel in the backwoods of Carolina.
James Wisniewski – Montreal, s’il vous plait.
Francois Beauchemin – Back to Anaheim where the Hills are Alive with the Sound of Selanne.
Our streak of picking available d-men to get moved continues to be golden today as the Toronto Maple Leafs traded veteran blueliner Francois Beauchemin back to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Joffrey Lupul, former 2008 first round pick Jake Gardiner and a future 2013 4th round pick. This leaves one less impact defensemen on the open market for Doug Wilson to target in the coming weeks, but Toronto’s asking price (a top three prospect) is too high for my taste.
Jake Gardiner is the jewel of this deal, an unsigned college defensemen currently in his junior year at the University of Wisconsin and fresh off a three assist and +9 performance for the United States at the World Junior tournament in 2011. Gardiner was the Ducks first round pick in 2008 (when the Sharks went fishing for the Daniels twins from Northeastern University – we profile them this week in our podcast posted below) and he has real solid potential to be a very good professional hockey player and he could surface in the NHL as soon as next year next to Luke Schenn, if he signs an ETL at the end of the year. In order to get Gardiner, the Leafs had to give up a solid blueliner in Francois – but they also had to take out a bit of Bob Murray’s trash in the bloated contract of Joffrey Lupul and his 4.25M cap hit until 2012-13. Lupul is a solid 2nd line forward when healthy, but he has only suited up for 49 games since 2009 and has a disappointing 27 points in that span. Is it worth it to get Gardiner? In my opinion, yes. If you’re the Leafs, you invest in your future and Gardiner could be a major player on that team in the next three years. Burke is fully aware of Gardiner and his skills, he did draft the kid after all when he was GM of the Ducks in the summer of 2008.
So, we can imagine that Brian Burke told DW he wanted something like Devin Setoguchi, Justin Braun or Charlie Coyle and a 4th round pick for Beauchemin. A hefty price for the French-Canadian d-man and a move I’m frankly shocked to see the Ducks make. Do they really think they have the horses, especially on their 2nd thru 4th forward lines, to make real noise in the playoffs? Nah. I think Bob Murray just made another boo boo and got taken by his former boss. Why break up the chance to have Gardiner, Fowler and Sbisa running around the Pacific Division for years to get a veteran guy who is better served on a Cup contender? With Murray, it’s not too surprising. “Stupid is as Stupid Does.” Just look at the Jason Blake deal (33 points in 78 games as a Duck while making 4M). Good job Bob. Throw another chair, just don’t hit my laptop.
Make sure to listen to the podcast this week and take part in the listener poll and let us know how you consume the Dudes on Hockey podcast. Mike loves stats and will spend hours pouring over the data as the Dudes continue their quest for Podcast Domination.
Join us next week when Joni Pitkanen gets traded to…somewhere else.