The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded defencemen Francois Beauchemin to the Anaheim Ducks for forward Joffrey Lupul and prospect Jake Gardiner. This move comes not all that unexpected as Leafs GM Brian Burke is attempting to create some semblance of a winning hockey club in Toronto. Along with Lupul and Gardiner the Leafs also got a conditional 4th round pick in 2013. With Beauchemin gone, the Leafs have relieved themselves of a contract that has 1 year and 3.55 million left while Lupul still has 2 years at 4.25 million remaining.
Trading a defencemen in Beauchemin for a forward Lupul will definetly help Toronto’s offensive struggles. It will especially benefit the lowly Phil Kessel who recently made remarks to the media, speaking of dissatisfaction with Coach Ron Wilson.
The rumor mill continues as many are saying that this move is simply to cover the gap that will be present after forward Kris Versteeg is dealt. Speculation is growing that Versteeg as well as Jonas “the Monster” Gustavsson will be gone by 4:30 today at which time Burke will be holding a press conference.
My prediction is that Versteeg as well as the Monster will in fact be traded as interest has been shown for the pair by many clubs including Pittsburgh, Vancouver and Dallas.