Trade speculation surrounding Jean-Sebastien Giguere was already in high gear, but his recent comments make you wonder if he's expecting to be traded.
Brian Burke got the ball rolling on Wednesday when the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Joffery Lupul, defensive prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional draft pick in 2013. In exchange, the Leafs sent defenseman Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks.
Following an afternoon press conference announcing the deal, the media took the opportunity to discuss the trade with a few players. Giguere provided his take on the trade, speaking highly of Lupul, based on his familiarity with him during his tenure with the Ducks.
More so intriguing were Giguere's comments concerning his future with the Maple Leafs that have been brought on by recent trade speculations. When asked about his situation, Giguere responded, “I do want to go talk to Burkie soon...I want to know a little bit about what’s going on with myself."
"We still have a little time ahead of us, but at the same time I don’t want to be a distraction for anybody."
“I doubt [the Beauchemin trade] is the end of it. We all knew something was coming and Burkie’s not the type of guy to wait to the deadline.”
Take his comments with a grain of salt, but it is clear that Giguere is well aware of the fact that he is an extremely high trading commodity.
Giguere brings valuable Stanley Cup experience to any team, which goes hand in hand with a calming veteran presence both on and off the ice. He is well respected throughout the NHL, and even though his numbers don’t place him amongst the top netminders in the league, many general managers know that on a strong defensive team Giguere could do damage in the playoffs.
Given the fact that Giguere has admirable teammate qualities to go along with a winning resume, it is understandable that Burke will be listening to a variety of trade possibilities. Without going into too much speculation, it is fair to suggest that the Maple Leafs would be willing to part with Giguere if the return was warranted.
A trade for Giguere may be difficult considering his $6 million cap hit; however, he becomes a UFA (unrestricted free agent) on Jul. 1. He may be an expensive rental player, but for contending teams in need of goaltending the price would be well worth it.
Giguere has a no-trade clause in his contract, but also has a competitive edge to his game and wants to play for a winning team. Therefore, it’s very possible that he would consider waiving his no-trade if the situation was desirable.
After having listened to Giguere it is clear that he doesn’t sound overly confident in terms of his future with the Maple Leafs. For my money the question is not if, but when will Giguere be traded?
Follow me on Twitter @that_hockey_guy