Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Beauchemin Flies Back to Anaheim

2011 Season2011Remaining
To Anaheim
PositionAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Francois BeaucheminDefense305421012$3.8 million1Same
To Toronto
PositionAgeGPGAPCap HitYearsCap Hit
Joffrey LupulForward27265813$4.25 million2Same
Jake GardinerDefese200000Unsigned
2013 Conditional 4th Round Pick

On Wednesday morning, news came across the wire that the Anaheim Ducks and Toronto Maple Leafs have made a deal, which doesn't come as quite the surprise, as they have been regular trade partners since Brian Burke moved to Toronto from Anaheim.

In the deal today, the Ducks re-acquired defenseman Francois Beauchemin for a package including Joffrey Lupul, prospect defender Jake Gardiner and a conditional pick.

The short-term of the deal looks pretty simple... the Ducks, who are holding a playoff spot (thanks in large part to both Corey Perry and Jonas Hiller), needed to address their blueline, which has been their weakest spot since the beginning of the season on paper.  Bringing back a familiar face, who knows the coach and has got a history with the club makes perfect sense, shoring up a weak spot in the line-up, in hopes of possibly taking a run at a good playoff spot and a longer stay in the Spring Dance.

The Leafs are not entirely out of the playoff picture in the East, but a long shot is the best way to describe them (without any hatred or bias attached to it).  The offense of the Leafs has struggled mightily, so a top six player that can jump into the mix should be a welcome addition, but it could just end up being a drop in a bucket.  The Leafs will have Lupul around for another couple seasons, so he will have the ability to grow long-term, but whether or not he'll help now is another question we can only assume to now.

The long-term mix is about the same for both sides, the Leafs possibly coming away a little bit better on the potential of Jake Gardiner and what he can possibly bring to the team down the road, but then we get into a discussion about prospect development and how well the Leafs have done in recent memory.  None of which reflects well on the Toronto system.

Salary CapIn terms of the salary cap, this does look like more of a lateral move, with the Ducks scraping off just a shade off of their annual totals, while the Leafs are taking on a little extra on, but for some more offensive talent.  Both teams are in the upper echelon of the teams spending-wise, but this deal doesn't put either side over into the red or too close, especially with minor-league assignments and injuries taken into account.  I'd drop into the 2012 numbers, but I really don't have the time for it.

The deal does make some sense in the short-term for both sides, the longer-term has some benefits to it as well, since both players will be signed on to their new (or new again) team after the 2011 season. If Lupul can find some chemistry with some of the existing forwards in Toronto, this could be a very even trade down the line, but it isn't happy times in Toronto and there could be some difficulty in that notion moving forward.

I think the Ducks come away as the early winners, just for the sake of improving their overall playoff chances now, but they would have to make the playoffs for it to be a reasonable success.

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