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article imageNHL: Leafs trade Beauchamin for Lupul, Gardiner and draft pick

By Dustin Pollack     Feb 9, 2011 in Sports
Brian Burke seems to be becoming synonymous with pre-deadline deals. It was just last January that the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager swung goaltender Vesa Toskala and Jason Blake to Anaheim in exchange for J.S Giguere.
He also acquired now Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf in a pre-deadline deal last year that sent Matt Stajan, Ian White and Nicklas Hagman to Calgary.
Well Burke and the Ducks are at it again. With just less than three weeks till the February 28th NHL trade deadline the Leafs have sent defenseman Francois Beauchamin to Anaheim. In return the Leafs receive forward Joffrey Lupul, defenseman Jake Gardiner and a conditional draft pick.
Beauchamin, 30 has spent most of his NHL career with Anaheim including winning a Stanley Cup with the Ducks during the 2006-2007 season. He was acquired by the Leafs as a free agent in 2009.
"We are thrilled to be able to re-acquire Francois,” Ducks general manager Bob Murray said in a statement to the CBC. β€œHe is a physical, puck-moving defenseman with tremendous character.”
For the Leafs, while Joffrey Lupul may be the most notable name in the deal – the 27-year-old has had three 20-plus-goal seasons in his seven years in the NHL, Jake Gardiner may have the most upside.
Gardiner, a 2008 first round pick (17th overall to the Ducks) is just 20 years old and is a point-per-game defenseman (30 points in 30 games) with the University of Wisconsin this season.
Lupul has missed much of the 2010-2011 campaign due to back injures and has five goals and 13 points in just 26 games.
In terms of salary, Beauchamin is set to make $3.8 million until the end of the 2011-2012 season while Lupul is under contract to make $4.25 million until the end of the 2012-2013 season.
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