Despite having a stacked group of forwards and an elite pair of defensemen in Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, the Chicago Blackhawks are only sixth in the Western Conference. Trading for Colorado Avalanche goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere could make them Stanley Cup contenders, though.
According to Adrian Dater of the Denver Post, the Avs could very well be looking to sell off some pieces as they currently sit 11th in the conference. One potential trading chip is the 34-year-old Giguere, who has enjoyed a renaissance season in his first year in Colorado.
Giguere looked to be done last season as a member of the Toronto Maple Leafs, when he posted a goals-against average of just 2.87 and a save percentage of .900.
In 2012 Giguere has looked like the netminder who won the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP in 2003, and who won the 2007 Stanley Cup as a member of the Anaheim Ducks.
Giggy has a solid record of 14-9-2 with a sparkling GAA of 2.13 and a save percentage of .923. It's fair to say that Giguere is playing legitimately well and isn't a product of the system, as teammate Semyon Varlamov has a bloated GAA of 2.96 and a save percentage of only .900.
For whatever reason, Giguere has found his game, and it only makes sense for him to take it to a contender like the Blackhawks. Neither Corey Crawford nor Ray Emery have been able to get the job done for Chicago this year, as both have a GAA of 2.82 or higher.
Giguere is a perfect target for a few reasons.
For one, as previously mentioned, Giggy has a history of big-game success. He would likely provide a calming presence to a team that is capable of being explosive offensively.
Also, Giguere wouldn't take much to acquire. The Avalanche are a team that is building for the future, so keeping a 34-year-old goalie won't do them much good. It isn't every day that a team can acquire a goalie with Giguere's pedigree without giving up top prospects.
Finally, Giggy's cap number is extremely reasonable. His cap hit is only $1.25 million, so the Blackhawks can easily fit him under the cap, plus he's signed through next season. If Giguere happens to work out, then Chicago will have a legitimate starting goaltender signed for practically nothing next year.
With all of that said, there isn't much reason for Chicago to drag its feet when it comes to acquiring Giguere. He's productive, experienced and cheap, making him the perfect fit for the Blackhawks.
It's impossible to say if he can continue to capture his old magic in Chicago, but the Blackhawks can't afford to remain complacent.