Much like he did last season when the Anaheim Ducks traded him to his current team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Jean-Sebastien Giguere told Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star that he might be willing to waive his no-trade clause if Leafs GM Brian Burke asked him.
Giguere certainly has name recognition on his side, with a Conn Smythe during one magical run to the 2003 Stanley Cup finals and a ring from the 2006-07 championship.
But the bottom line is that the soon-to-be unrestricted free agent’s value might just be at an all-time low. He’s been plagued by injuries and inconsistent play over the last few years as Jonas Hiller and Jonas Gustavsson usurped him in Anaheim and Toronto.
That’s not the worst part of it, though, as Giguere’s boasts a big salary this season ($7 million) and a large cap hit ($6 million). That makes the prospects of him being traded much bleaker, especially considering the fact that Tomas Vokoun brings a similar expiring contract to the table ($6.3 million salary, $5.7 million cap hit) while he’s playing better hockey.
Yet that’s really the only one way the Leafs could sell a Giguere trade: the fact that he possesses an expiring contract. Perhaps a team will want to move a troubling long-term contract (maybe Brian Campbell’s $7.1 million albatross in Chicago or Sheldon Souray’s $5.4 million cap hit in Edmonton’s system, for instance?) and also give Giguere a chance to redeem himself in the playoffs or at the end of the season.
Of course, the flip side of that is Burke would need to be comfortable with the return. Sadly, the pattern of big, desperate (and expensive) moves would indicate that such a deal might be a ridiculous possibility, but the Leafs would be better off allowing Giguere’s $6 million cap hit turn into space they can use to shoot for unrestricted free agents. I hear there’s this Brad Richards fellow who is supposed to be pretty good at hockey, after all …