Six player deal sends Giguere, Phaneuf to Toronto

Brian Burke knows how to make a splash.

The Toronto Maple Leafs GM announced today that the team acquired two former NHL All-Stars in Dion Phaneuf from the Calgary Flames and J.S. Giguere from the Anaheim Ducks. In return, Burke shipped Ian White, Matt Stajan, Nick Hagman and Jamal Mayers to Calgary while forwardJason Blake and backup netminder Vesa Toskala are headed to Anaheim.


While the deal comes as a shocker and is nothing short of a blockbuster, what should really come as no surprise is that any of these players moved before the trade deadline.

Giguere has been in a season-long battle with backup goalie Jonas Hiller for the number one starting position. Anaheim virtually awarded the starting spot to Hiller when they announced earlier this week that they had signed the young goaltender to a four-year extension, making Giguere expandable. With Anaheim currently outside of playoff contention, it seems like a no-brainer that they would trade Giguere before the deadline.

Rumors that Phaneuf (pictured) may be shipped elsewhere had also arisen throughout the season, although most of those rumors had the name Ilya Kovalchuk attached in return. At the expense of Phaneuf, Calgary acquires scoring depth in Hagman and Stajan.

The Maple Leafs have failed to make an impact in the standings all season, suffering behind sub par goaltending and dismal defense. Phaneuf and Giguere address

two of those needs. Phanuef will also bring a physical dimension to Toronto’s lineup. Burke loves to stock his roster with big, physical players and Phanuef fits that bill perfectly. And while Phaneuf has struggled in recent seasons, he has displayed a strong offensive prowess in the past with Calgary. In 2007-08, Phaneuf accumulated 17 goals and 43 assists along with 182 penalty minutes.

After the trades went through, Brian Burke suggested that more deals may come out of Toronto in the weeks leading up to the trade deadline.

“We’re still open for business,” Burke remarked. “We’re not done.”

Alexei Panikarovski will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season and may be dealt and puck-moving defenseman Tomas Kaberle has also been the subject of trade rumors around the league. Either one of these players could be next to go before the March 3 trade deadline.

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