Anyone who’s lived in Toronto and experienced Maple Leafs mania has been exposed to some of the most hilarious, preposterous trade rumors of all time.
It’s not necessarily something in the Lake Ontario water or a character defect that drives otherwise rational people to believe, for instance, that a straight-up Sergei-Berezin-for-Scott-Niedermayer swap made sense for both teams, or that an in-his-prime Peter Forsberg would’ve been a fair asking price in exchange for a package consisting of Jonas Hoglund, Jeff Ware and Todd Warriner; indeed, such mind-blowing delusion is born of passion and aching for a Stanley Cup champion.
But such wild speculation doesn’t help matters either. And to his credit, Leafs GM Brian Burke has been quick to kibosh most of the silliness.
Unfortunately, Burke isn’t in a position to dismiss perhaps the nuttiest Leafs trade “possibility” I’ve heard this year: that goalie J-S Giguere has a good shot of (a) being moved; and (b) landing the Leafs anything of value in return.
Trade Giguere? Go nuts – if you can find a team desperate enough to add the pro-rated remainder of his massive $6 million cap hit. It is a virtual certainty no team would consider adding that budget burden before absolutely necessary (in other words, prior to the Feb. 28th trade deadline).
Even then, if you’re a rival GM prepping for the playoffs, would you gamble on a soon-to-be 34-year-old goalie whose groin is delicate, to say the least? I’d never play down Giguere’s glorious past (including his Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP), but the reality of the goalie market is not in his favor.
Firstly, very few teams are looking for goalies. Secondly, many expect former Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov (who’d been playing in Russia this year) to fill any available job opening. Finally, look at the Cup final from last season: both goalies, Michael Leighton and Antti Niemi, are no longer with Philadelphia and Chicago, respectively.
Goalies have become disposable. Giguere will finish the season here, then take a heck of a financial haircut come summer.
Trade him? Good luck.
This article was originally published in Metro News. For more hockey commentary, check out Metro Sports.