Leafs acquire Lupul & Gardiner for Beauchemin

Leafs acquire Lupul & Gardiner for Beauchemin

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Update: Reports indicate Gustavsson left the Marlies game for precautionary reasons as he was experiencing an elevated heart rate. Doesn’t look like he’s involved in today’s trade activities.

Beauchemin nets a roster player in Lupul who will be a bit of a reclamation project Wilson can mix into the top six but a big part of the return here is prospect Jake Gardiner. A former first round pick in 2008 (17th overall), Gardiner is scoring at a point per game for the U. of Wisconsin and is the type of mobile defenceman the Leafs do not have enough of in their prospect ranks. The Leafs also get a conditional 2013 draft pick (details linked).

The 27-year-old Lupul comes with a bit of a price tag at $4.25 million cap hit for the next two seasons. After a few 25 goal, 50 point seasons earlier in his career he has since fallen off production wise largely due to a nagging back injury that required surgery and has curtailed this season and last. He put up an impressive ten goals in only 23 games last season so the potential is there for Lupul to get back to his earlier career form if the back problems are behind him. Could be an interesting experiment in the top six alongside Bozak and Kessel.

Beauchemin leaves a hole behind that’s not easy to fill. Schenn’s ice time will continue to climb, Komisarek will have to start playing a little more than a handful of minutes  and my guess would be Keith Aulie will be recalled for the remainder of the season unless Burke’s thinking the unthinkable – Lebda assuming a permanent role. In a roster player, a top prospect and a pick, the Leafs seem to have gotten good value for a player they originally signed out of the FA market.

Burke will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. There are some rumblings the trade activity isn’t done for the day (potentially involving a goalie on the way out) as Burke starts his dealing for this season at a similar time he pulled off the Phaneuf and Giguere deals last season… a few weeks ahead of the trade deadline.

Alec Brownscombe is the founder of MapleLeafsHotStove.com, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He was also the editor of the 2009-12 Maple Leafs Annuals. You can contact him at [email protected]

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