J.S. Giguere Heads to Toronto Maple Leafs in Trade for Vesa Toskala, Jason Blake

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J.S. Giguere Heads to Toronto Maple Leafs in Trade for Vesa Toskala, Jason Blake
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

It didn't take long for a J.S. Giguere trade  to take place.

After Jonas Hiller signed his four-year, $18 million contract extension on Saturday, rumors and speculation about trading Giguere were in full swing.

On Sunday morning, general manager extraordinaire Brian Burke did what he does best; make a splash in the trade headlines.

Giguere was sent to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for goaltender Vesa Toskala and winger Jason Blake.

Plain and simple, the Ducks gave up Giguere to clear cap space and relieve the expensive goaltender from his bench riding duties.

I know there will be many Ducks fans upset to see Giguere go.  Understandable.  He was a Conn Smythe winner, a Stanley Cup champion, and a veteran presence in the locker room.

Unfortunately, Giguere is no longer of that caliber.

Yes, Giguere gave the Ducks a stellar career performance.  But that was in the past; that was then, this is now.  The Ducks are no longer benefiting from having Giguere ride the bench.

To assume that the Ducks could rightfully carry his hefty contract while he sat on the bench and watched Jonas Hiller take over the No. 1 job is unrealistic.

More importantly, the Ducks have cleared a considerable amount of cap space in moving Giguere.  They've opened up the option to sign alternate players, most notably, Bobby Ryan.  In addition, the Ducks may be able to shift their focus to blue line issues the Ducks have been battling all season.

In addition, the Ducks gain a winger who might benefit from a new locker room as well.  Many fans in Toronto are happy to see Blake leaving the Leafs with his five year $20 million dollar contract that he signed in 2007.  However, the Ducks are in need of new life on their forward end with the absence of winger Joffrey Lupul still out after back surgery.

I wish Giguere the best of luck in Toronto.  Hopefully this change of scenery and the opportunity to work with former goaltending coach Francois Allaire will benefit him greatly.

If he is able to find the player that he once was, no one should be upset about this trade. If Giguere can return to being a player worth a $6 million deal and a No. 1 netminder, then the trade is ultimately for the best.  If that doesn't happen, then the Ducks are already better off without him.

Thank you for what you did for the Anaheim Ducks, Giguere.  The fans will not forget you and the player that you once were.

It's time to move on now.

 

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