Beauchemin signs with Toronto.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenseman Francois Beauchemin away from the Ducks with a three-year contract worth $11.4 million.

Beauchemin increased his free-agent stock greatly by returning early from ACL surgery to appear in all 13 playoff games for the Ducks. The 29-year-old defenseman had one goal and 22 blocked shots in the postseason, the latter ranking third on the team. In 20 regular-season games prior to the injury, he contributed four goals and an assist.

In a conference call Monday afternoon, Beauchemin expressed a desire to step out of the shadow of Ducks defensemen Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger. Niedermayer recently re-signed with the Ducks after Pronger was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers.
“I see it as a chance. I played with two of the best in Prongs and Scotty,” Beauchemin said. “I learned a lot watching them play and just coming to the rink … now it’s just for me to move from that and show what I can do.”
Still, he said that Anaheim was his first choice all along.
“When we didn’t get a word from them, we started looking,” he said.
In 246 career regular-season games, all but 12 with the Ducks, Beauchemin has 21 goals and 90 points. Though not a tall defenseman at 6-feet, his defensive toughness was unquestioned. Neither was his fighting ability; this scuffle during the playoffs with Tomas Kopecky resulted in a season-ending injury to the Detroit Red Wings forward.
Ducks general manager Bob Murray said last week that Beauchemin’s asking price — which at the time was believed to be in the range of $4-5 million over four years — was “way out of my range.” Six defensemen are under contract for next season: Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Whitney, Luca Sbisa, Sheldon Brookbank, Brian Salcido and Brendan Mikkelson. 

Defenseman James Wisniewski has filed for salary arbitration, and the Ducks have also submitted a qualifying offer to restricted free agent Brett Festerling. The Ducks are roughly $12 million under the NHL salary cap of $56.8 million.
This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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