Ducks swap backup goalies with Flames.

The Ducks have acquired goaltender Curtis McElhinney from the Calgary Flames for Vesa Toskala.

McElhinney didn’t get much work as the backup to workhorse Miikka Kiprusoff in Calgary, going 3-4 with a 3.22 goals-against average in seven starts and three relief appearances. The London, Ontario native held the same role last season, and is 4-12-1 with a 3.23 goals-against average and .889 save percentage in just 29 career games.

Toskala, who was acquired along with Jason Blake for Jean-Sebastien Giguere, did not appear in a game for the Ducks. He is reunited with former San Jose Sharks teammate Kiprusoff in Calgary.

The skinny on Vesa Toskala.

Vesa Toskala has already ordered a new goalie’s mask and sounded like he couldn’t wait to shed the Toronto Maple Leafs-colored mask that he wore Sunday in his first practice with the Ducks.

“Hopefully soon,” he said, “so I can wash that blue and white out of my gear.”

Continue reading “The skinny on Vesa Toskala.” »

Toskala in, Pogge to San Antonio.

It took a week, but Vesa Toskala has joined the Anaheim Ducks.

His immigration paperwork in order, Toskala will practice with his new team Sunday at Honda Center for the first time since coming over from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toskala has worn number 35 – the jersey formerly worn by Jean-Sebastien Giguere – for all but one of his eight NHL seasons. A team spokesperson said that Toskala’s jersey number for Monday’s game against the Kings has yet to be determined.

Goaltender Justin Pogge was returned to San Antonio of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

Murray: ‘It’s a good fit for them and a good fit for us.’

Ducks general Bob Murray said he wasn’t sure that Jean-Sebastien Giguere was headed for Toronto until 12:30 a.m. Sunday.

That’s how much of a whirlwind deal Sunday’s blockbuster was — mainly, according to Murray, because he was willing to trade his veteran goalie before Brian Burke was.

“I talked with (Toronto assistant) David Nonis and Burkie early in the year about this,” Murray said. “They didn’t feel it was the right time. All of a sudden, (Jonas) Hiller’s signed and I’ve got (Nonis) saying he’s interested in something. They had a much bigger deal going somewhere else (for Dion Phaneuf) and they wanted to tie everything together.

“It’s a good fit for Toronto. I think that Jiggy’s a perfect guy to be with The Monster (Jonas Gustavsson) and (goaltending consultant) Frankie Allaire. It’s a good fit for them and a good fit for us. It came together all in the last 24 hours.”
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Giguere traded to Toronto.

The Ducks have traded Jean-Sebastien Giguere, the most decorated goalie in franchise history, to the Toronto Maple Leafs for forward Jason Blake and goaltender Vesa Toskala.

The writing was on the wall Saturday, when the Ducks tabbed Jonas Hiller as their goaltender of the future by extending his contract for four years. Giguere, who was set to become a free agent after the 2010-11 season, must waive his no-trade clause to approve any trade.** He was expected to do so to be reunited with goaltending consultant Francois Allaire and general manager Brian Burke in Toronto, which is also much closer to his native Montreal.

Toskala, 32, lost his starting job to Jonas Gustafsson in Toronto, and will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, when he is owed $4 million. Blake, 36, still has two years and $6 million remaining on his contract after this season, with a cap hit of $4 million each year.

Toskala has appeared in 260 career games with Toronto and San Jose, going 127-82-25 with 13 shutouts, a 2.77 goals-against average and .902 save percentage.

Blake peaked as a member of the New York Islanders in 2006-07, when he scored a career-high 40 goals. In an 11-year career that began with the Kings in 1998, Blake has 184 goals and 427 assists in 724 games.

**Update: The Toronto Maple Leafs were one of the teams Giguere previously indicated to Bob Murray that he would be willing to accept a trade to. Presumably, the trade was a done deal as soon as Bob Murray and Brian Burke had decided upon the specifics.
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