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Maple Swap: Thank you, Poppa Burke!

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I might as well use the same image I used the day Giguere <a href="http://battleofcalifornia.blogspot.com/2007/06/four-more-years-of-jiggy.html">signed his four-year deal</a>.
I might as well use the same image I used the day Giguere signed his four-year deal.

Item: Former Duck J.S. Giguere gets traded to Toronto for former King Jason Blake and former Shark Vesa Toskala -- a BoC memorial trade of sorts.  See also: Anaheim Calling, Pension Plan Puppets.

For reference, here's what I said a couple of weeks ago for a Blackhawks Q&A:

How does this Giguere-Hiller problem get solved?

I don't think it does -- nobody's sucker enough to take J.S. Giguere's contract off our books (well, I haven't entirely given up on Brian Burke yet).

Well look at me, Mr. Smarty-Pants.  I'm going to offer a quick look at why I love this deal in today's rushed post, and have some more thorough thoughts for tomorrow's gameday.  Read on, if you care dare.

J.S. Giguere has had a tremendous career in Anaheim, but he was going to be a huge monetary problem next season for the Ducks -- $7 million that was going to be spent essentially on the bench.  Here's the salary cap list for 2010-11 that I made a few posts ago (all numbers courtesy of CapGeek) -- the "Before" picture:

10cap1_medium

Now here's the "After" picture, including the Hiller extension and Giguere trade:

10cap2_medium

As I noted in that previous cap-discussion post, for Anaheim the "Cash" figure matters much more than the "Cap" figure, and you can see how that's worked out fantastically -- for only an additional half-million dollars in cash, the Ducks now have a much better goalie in net, an additional scoring forward, and virtually no money being wasted on the bench (we shall see if Toskala gets any offer next summer from Anaheim; I'm in favor of trying out some Timo Pielmeier myself).

And I don't even care that Jason Blake is overpaid (if that even proves true) -- he's got two more years on a deal that has an annual cap hit of $4M but in cash costs only $3M/yr.  In my mind, it's way better to spend money (even on overpayments) on the ice than watching it sit on the bench; an additional J-Blake improves next year's team much more than an idle Giguere.

And I don't even care that Vesa Toskala may be awful -- all he has to do is occupy Giguere's seat on the bench, I think -- any actual performance out of the guy this season is pure bonus in my mind.

Bottom line: It's early, but I like this deal a lot for the Ducks; in fact, I liked it in the incorrect version I heard earlier in the day, where the Ducks also threw in a first-round draft pick -- I think that'd be a stomachable price to unload the hefty next-year-salary of J.S. Giguere.  Now instead of spending $7M off the ice, the Ducks get to spend $7.5M on the ice, and I think on paper it makes for a much better starting point for 2010-11. 

Now the summer priorities seem to be: Bobby Ryan needs his raise, Wisniewski and Chipchura need to get penciled in, Selanne-Koivu-Niedermayer need to make up their minds, and I think the Ducks still might find a little money to spend -- should be a fairly exciting summer.

Good job, Barstool Bob -- way to get out of that $11.5M goalie overcommitment for next season.  And good job, Brian Burke -- when you departed Anaheim, I had a list of three criticisms about your Anaheim GM legacy -- and today, you're down to only two!  If only there were some way you could have somehow also traded for the Bertuzzi buyout payments too...  :)

More Giguere trade thoughts coming tomorrow.  Go Ducks.