In the first big move of the 2011 trade season, Brian Burke dealt Francois Beauchemin back to his old team, the Anaheim Ducks. In return, the Ducks sent Joffrey Lupul, University of Wisconsin defenseman Jake Gardiner and a conditional pick in 2013. Burke is expected at a press conference at 4:30 this afternoon, prompting speculation that there could be more to come.
A quick breakdown after the jump.
What’d We Lose
Whether you liked him or not, Beauchemin was the number one defenseman in terms of ice time for the Buds this season. Averaging 23:45 in ice time per game, Boosh had 2 goals and 12 points on the season so far, along with a -4 rating. He’s seen top line minutes against most of the team’s stiffest competition this season, and while he was criticized heavily for what seemed like frequent giveaways, I think his loss will be felt harder than most Leaf fans might realize.
What’d We Get
Joffrey Lupul is the name that most people are going to look at when initially reviewing this trade, but after some closer speculation, I’d have to agree with James Mirtle and some other pundits when they say that Lupul wasn’t Burke’s target in this deal. Sure, he has the most immediate potential to create some positive results on the Leafs’ roster, but after a yearlong absence from the NHL with a blood infection, there shouldn’t be huge expectations placed on the 27-year old winger’s shoulders. Just to whet your appetites, though, here’s a quick look at some of Lupul’s stats prior to his prolonged stint on the LTIR due to back surgery that was then complicated by a blood infection: Three out of his five full NHL seasons have seen him score 20 goals and 45 points, while he broke the 50-point plateau twice. He has 5 goals and 13 points in 26 games since returning to the Ducks’ lineup in December of this season.
At $4.25 million a year through 2012-13, he’s the 2nd highest paid forward on the Leafs’ roster right now, so we’ll have to hope he can find some of his offense again. At 6’1, 206 lbs, he adds some much-needed size to the Leafs’ forward corps, and as one Leaf blogger tweeted today “At least he’s an upgrade on Joey Crabb.” In a move that will shakeup the Leafs’ forward lines, it’s expected that Lupul will make his first appearance in Blue and White tomorrow against the Devils, skating on a line with Tyler Bozak and Clarke MacArthur. Interestingly enough, Lupul and MacArthur have a history together, as the two skated together on a line with the Medicine Hat Tigers in 2002-03. Lupul had 41 goals and 78 points, while MacArthur had 52 assists and 75 points, helping the Tigers make a playoff run that season.
What most people are saying Burke’s real target in this deal, however, was University of Wisconsin defenseman Jake Gardiner. Gardiner has scored at a point-per-game pace with 30 points in as many games for the Badgers this season, ranking him 11th among WCHA skaters, right behind fellow Leaf prospect Matt Frattin. Certainly a move for the future, and one that Burke will certainly hope atones for the loss of the Leafs’ two first round picks in 2010 and 2011. Gardiner was drafted by Burke in 2008, 17th overall.
The last piece of this deal is a conditional pick in 2013. According to Pierre LeBrun, if Lupul is on the Leafs’ roster for 40 or more games in the 2012-13 season, Toronto gets Anaheim’s 4th round pick in the 2013 draft. If he’s not on the roster for 40 plus games, the Leafs only get the Ducks’ 6th round pick.