The Anaheim Ducks, locked in a tight race in the Western Conference, made the first bold move leading up to the 2011 NHL Trading Deadline later this month, trading for defenseman FrancoIs Beachemin from the Toronto Maple Leafs, who sit in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.
Beauchemin has some history with the Ducks, having played there during Anaheim's Stanley Cup run in 2007.
Here is the release from the Ducks:
The Ducks announced today that they have acquired defenseman Francois Beauchemin from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for right wing Joffrey Lupul and defenseman Jake Gardiner.
“We are thrilled to be able to reacquire Francois,” said Ducks Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “He is a physical, puck-moving defenseman with tremendous character. We would also like to wish Joffrey Lupul well in Toronto. He’s worked very hard to return from a serious ailment and we hope he can get his career back on track.”
Beauchemin, 30 (6/4/80), was a key member of the Ducks 2007 Stanley Cup Championship club. He played with the Ducks from 2005-09, appearing in 246 regular season games (21-69=90 points with 172 penalty minutes). Beauchemin also played in 55 playoff games with Anaheim, scoring 8-10=18 points with 68 penalty minutes (PIM). He scored 4-4=8 points in 20 games during the club’s 2007 Stanley Cup run, ranking third in the NHL in average time-on-ice (30:33). He also has two of the three multi-goal games by a defenseman in club playoff history.
A native of Sorel, Quebec, Beauchemin has played in 54 games this season, scoring 2-10=12 points with 16 PIM. He was originally acquired by Anaheim from Columbus with Tyler Wright in exchange for Sergei Fedorov and a fifth-round selection in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft on Nov. 15, 2005. He ranked fourth in the NHL in total minutes played (2093:23) in 2007-08, averaging 25+ minutes both that season (25:31) and in 2006-07 (25:28).
Beauchemin was drafted by Montreal in the third round (75th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He was acquired by Columbus off NHL waivers on Sept. 14, 2004. After his stint in Anaheim, he signed a three-year contract with Toronto as a free agent on July 6, 2009 (runs through 2011-12 season). The 6-0, 213-pound defenseman has played in 382 NHL games (with Montreal, Columbus, Anaheim and Toronto), scoring 28-101=128 points with 221 PIM.
Lupul, 27 (9/23/83), has played in 26 games with Anaheim this season, scoring 5-8=13 points with 14 PIM. He returned to the Ducks lineup on Dec. 5 vs. Phoenix after missing a nearly a full year with a back injury and subsequent blood infection (his previous game was Dec. 8, 2009 vs. DAL). Lupul was most recently acquired by Anaheim from Philadelphia with Luca Sbisa, a first round selection in 2009, a first round selection 2010 and a conditional draft pick for Chris Pronger on June 26, 2009. He has played in 421 NHL games, scoring 117-121=238 points with 246 PIM with Anaheim, Edmonton and Philadelphia.
Gardiner, 20 (7/4/90), has appeared in 30 games for the University of Wisconsin (WHCA) this season, collecting 7-23=30 points with a +20 rating and 22 PIM. Selected by Anaheim in the first round (17th overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Gardiner advanced to the NCAA Frozen Four championship game in his sophomore season at Wisconsin last year. He has appeared in 110 career games for the Badgers, earning 16-48=64 points with 58 PIM.
We'll have more on this trade shortly on NHL.com.