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Leafs send Beauchemin to Ducks for players, pick

NHL.com @NHL

TORONTO (AP) - Veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin is returning to the Anaheim Ducks.

The Toronto Maple Leafs shipped him to his former team Wednesday for right winger Joffrey Lupul, prospect Jake Gardiner and a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2013.

"There's a human element in all of this," Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said. "You bet on people every time you make a trade. If this were just buying cars or buying livestock it would be a lot easier. But we're betting on human beings.

"I bet on Joffrey Lupul because of his character and his skill level and I believe he thinks he has something to prove."

The deal has Toronto assuming some salary because Lupul will earn $4.25 million over the next two years while Beauchemin has one year remaining on his deal at $3.8 million.

"He may be overpaid for what he does now," Burke said of Lupul. "That's OK, that's not the player's fault. When the player's overpaid one of us (GMs) made a mistake."

Burke said he expects to make more moves, but noted "nothing is imminent."

Beauchemin won a Stanley Cup with the Ducks in 2007 and has played in 55 playoff games with the team. He had 12 points in 54 games for Toronto this season.

"I was kind of expecting something to happen with all the rumors that were out there lately," Beauchemin said. "I loved it here. Great city to play, great group of guys, but last year was a tough year and this year we're still out of a playoff spot."

The Leafs are eight points back of Carolina, which has the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference, with 28 games remaining.

Lupul, a three-time 20-goal scorer, has 13 points in 26 games this season. He missed part of the season after sitting out for nearly a year with a back injury and subsequent blood infection.

"I think definitely I have a lot to prove to a lot of people now," Lupul said. "The Anaheim Ducks kind of just let me go after 20 games. I don't know if it's injury-related or what it is. But I have a lot to prove to myself and to the team that just let me go and, first and foremost, to the new organization and my new teammates.

"I want to step in and help make an impact."

Gardiner has 30 points in 30 games for the University of Wisconsin this season.

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