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Ducks Acquire Toskala, Blake for Giguere

by Staff Writer / Anaheim Ducks
The Anaheim Ducks announced on Sunday that they have acquired left wing Jason Blake and goaltender Vesa Toskala from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for goaltender J.S. Giguere.

“J.S. is as classy and professional as they come,” said Executive Vice President/General Manager Bob Murray. “On behalf of the organization, we thank him for his tremendous contributions to the franchise both on and off the ice, not the least of which were two trips to the Stanley Cup Final and one championship. We wish him well in Toronto.”

Blake, 36 (9/2/73), appeared in 56 games this season with the Maple Leafs, collecting 10-16=26 points with 26 penalty minutes (PIM). In his third year in Toronto, Blake ranked second on the club in shots (170) and tied for second in game-winning goals (2). He also led Toronto and ranked tied for eighth in the NHL in takeaways (48).

Signed by Toronto as a free agent on July 1, 2007, Blake picked up 25-38=63 points with 40 PIM in 78 games with the Leafs last year. The Moorhead, MN native set a career high in assists while ranking first on the team in goals, points, game-winning goals (5) and shots (302). He also ranked seventh among league leaders in shots.

Originally signed as a free agent by Los Angeles on Apr. 17, 1999, Blake has appeared in 11 NHL seasons with the Kings, Islanders and Maple Leafs. Since making his NHL debut in 1998-99 with Los Angeles, Blake has scored 184-243=427 points with 398 PIM in 724 career games. He has appeared in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games with the Islanders and Kings, recording 3-4=7 points with 19 PIM. Blake was also a member of Team USA at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy, going scoreless in six games.

Toskala, 32 (5/20/77), posted a 7-12-2 record with one shutout, a 3.66 GAA and .874 SV% in 26 appearances with Toronto this season. Toskala recorded a season-best four consecutive home wins from Dec. 7-14, stopping 108-of-117 shots for a .923 SV% and 2.25 GAA. He also earned his 13th career shutout on Jan. 14 vs. Philadelphia, stopping all 38 shots faced for a 4-0 victory.

Acquired from San Jose with Mark Bell in exchange for Toronto's first- and second-round picks in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, and a fourth-round pick in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft on June 22, 2007, Toskala went 22-17-11 with one shutout and a 3.26 GAA and .891 SV% in 53 games with the Maple Leafs last season.

A native of Tampere, Finland, Toskala was originally selected by San Jose in the fourth round (90th overall) of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft. Toskala has appeared in 260 career games with Toronto and San Jose, going 127-82-25 with 13 shutouts, a 2.77 GAA and .902 SV%. He made 11 Stanley Cup Playoff appearances with San Jose in 2006, posting a 6-5 record with a 2.45 GAA and .910 SV%.

“We are pleased to add Jason and Vesa,” said Murray. “Vesa will get an opportunity to play behind Jonas Hiller and Jason brings veteran leadership and offense to our club.”

Giguere, 32 (5/16/77), went 4-8-0 with one shutout, a 3.14 GAA and .900 SV% in 20 games for the Ducks this season. A native of Montreal, Quebec, Giguere appeared in 447 career games for Anaheim, posting a 206-163-54 record with 32 shutouts, a 2.47 GAA and .914 SV%. He ranks among Anaheim’s all-time franchise leaders in numerous categories, including wins (first), shutouts (first), GAA (fourth), saves (second with 11,290), appearances (first), starts (first with 432), minutes played (first with 25,646) and shots against (second with 12,347).

Acquired from Calgary in exchange for a second-round selection in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft on June 10, 2000, Giguere helped lead Anaheim to the 2007 Stanley Cup Championship and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP in 2003. In 52 career playoff appearances with Anaheim, Giguere compiled a 33-17 record with six shutouts, a 2.08 GAA and .925 SV%.
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