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Numbers Game: Leafs Bring in Beauchemin

Scott Cullen
7/7/2009 12:19:01 AM
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Despite having a plethora of defencemen on the roster, the Toronto Maple Leafs went out and added another in free agency, getting a good deal in the process.

Numbers Game looks at the Leafs' signing of Francois Beauchemin.

The Maple Leafs Get: D Francois Beauchemin.

Beauchemin, 29, was limited to just 20 games during the 2008-2009 season after suffering a torn ACL in November, only returning for two regular season games before playing in the postseason.

However, Beauchemin had earned a great meaure of credibility over the past two seasons, logging more than 25 minutes per game for the Ducks, winning a Stanley Cup and proving to be very versatile.  Not coincidentally, Beauchemin earned this reputation while Brian Burke, now the Leafs' General Manager, was the GM for the Ducks. 

Beauchemin can play in all situations and, while he may not be needed to play mmore than 25 minutes a night for the Maple Leafs, there could be an opportunity for Beauchemin to see more power play time in Toronto, particularly if this move precedes a trade of Tomas Kaberle.

If not Kaberle, at least one defenceman would figure to be on the move as the Leafs now have a defence corps that includes Kaberle, Mike Komisarek, Luke Schenn, Ian White, Mike Van Ryn, Jeff Finger, Garnet Exelby, Jonas Frogren and, potentially, Anton Stralman.

Signed for three years and $11.4-million, Beauchemin comes at a reasonable cap hit of $3.8-million, falling in between Jaroslav Spacek and Mattias Ohlund on this summer's free agent market.

From the Ducks' perspective, they're going to need to add a defenceman in their own right, now having traded Chris Pronger and lost Beauchemin in free agency. 

While the Ducks made a pre-emptive move to get Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski at the trade deadline and picked up Luca Sbisa in the Pronger trade, they could use a more proven performer to log top-four minutes.

Scott Cullen can be reached at Scott.Cullen@ctv.ca




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