Defenseman Francois Beauchemin is coming back to Anaheim in a major deal announced Wednesday that will send forward Joffrey Lupul, defenseman prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2013 to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Beauchemin, who played for the Ducks from 2006-09, has two goals, 12 points and 16 penalty minutes in 54 games with the Maple Leafs this season. An alternate captain in Toronto, the 30-year-old Beauchemin was second only to Dion Phaneuf in ice time (23:45) and was leading the team in blocked shots (131). In addition to Beauchemin’s physical play, the Ducks get a more reliable puck-mover from the back end than they currently possess outside Lubomir Visnovsky and Cam Fowler.
Lupul had scored five goals and 13 points in 26 games since returning from a blood infection in December. The 27-year-old winger was well off his career point production, relegated to a third-line role and second-unit power play duty while averaging just 13:13 per game.
Gardiner, 20, is a former first-round draft pick (17th overall, 2008) playing for the University of Wisconsin. In 30 games this season, he has seven goals, 30 points and a plus-20 rating.
The trade will allow the Ducks to save $450,000 toward the salary cap this year and next. In terms of actual salary, Beauchemin represents a net savings this year ($4.25 to $3.55 million) and next year ($4.25 to $3.8 million) and comes off the books in 2012, a year ahead of Lupul.
More details to follow …