Toronto Maple Leafs: The First Domino Falls. Beachemin Out, Lupul & Gardiner In

Jeff LangridgeCorrespondent IIIFebruary 9, 2011

TORONTO, CAN - FEBRUARY 7:  Francois Beauchemin #22 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates in a game against the Atlanta Thrashers on February 7, 2011 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Canada. The Leafs defeated the Thrashers 5-4. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs finally made a big splash today, sending Francois Beauchemin back to the Anaheim Ducks.

In return, the Leafs acquired Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner, and a conditional 4th round pick in 2013. When I first found this deal, I was shocked. I never thought that the Leafs would get this much back in return for Beauchemin.

Beauchemin, who has struggled in his one and a half seasons as a Leaf, heads back to the team that he won a Stanley Cup with back in 2007. In 136 games as a Leaf, he has totaled 7 goals and 31 assists for 38 points. In comparison, Tomas Kaberle has 36 points in 54 games this year.

Lupul has now been traded four times in his seven year career. He has only played in 26 games this year because of back surgery, compiling  five goals and eight assists for 13 points. Although, in 421 career NHL games he has 117 goals and 121 assists for 238 points. It could be said that the Leafs are now stacked at right wing with Lupul, Colby Armstrong, and Phil Kessel.

Jake Gardiner was the 17th overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He currently plays for the University of Wisconsin. In 30 games this season, Gardiner has compiled seven goals and 23 assists for 30 points. Since he's playing in college, it should be a couple of years before Gardiner makes an impact for the Leafs, but when he gets here he could be one of our best defensemen.

In this trade, the Leafs have acquired two former first round picks. Lupul has had his share of trouble in his career but lets hope he can turn it around in Toronto.

In the short term, this trade allows the Leafs to call up Keith Aulie and hopefully he can play the way he did in his stint with the Leafs earlier this season.

Well, the Leafs have made their first move. Will there be more? Only time will tell.