Fantasy Impact: TSN reports that Anahiem has traded Joffrey Lupul, Jake Gardiner and a 2013 conditional draft pick to Toronto for defenseman Francois Beauchemin.
The Ducks get: a solid No. 4 defenseman whom the Leafs had miscast as a No.2 guy. He is not. He is a 30-point defenseman who is stable defensively and works best on the second pairing. At $3.8 million, I cannot believe the Leafs got the return that they did. They almost win just from shedding the salary alone.
The Leafs get: an underrated top-six winger. Injuries prevented Lupul from making an impact this year or last, but I think had he remained healthy we would be seeing him in a whole new light. In Gardiner, the Leafs get a top offensive prospect blueliner. Knowing Brian Burke, they will sign Gardiner out of college and he’ll get a long look in the fall. But he is still two years away from regular duty and five years away from having an impact in fantasy leagues.
Fantasy Players Impacted: This will free up some ice time for Carl Gunnarsson, and I would keep an eye on him as he has been playing very poorly this season in a depth role. This could be what the doctor ordered. Bringing Lupul on board takes some of the pressure off of Phil Kessel. Lupul’s ability to create offense is superior to all other Leaf forwards except Kessel and maybe Mikhail Grabovski. Lupul will no longer be buried on the third line and I fully expect a “pop” from him. If he can stay healthy, I think he’ll surprise in the same way that Clarke MacArthur has. With him leaving Anaheim, this frees up ice time again for the likes of Matt Beleskey in Anaheim.
Meanwhile, Beauchemin in Anaheim could cut Cam Fowler’s ice time and knock Luca Sbisa right out of the lineup for now. Fowler has been producing some great offense, but his plus/minus has been hurting (minus-8 in the last eight games). This will take some of that pressure off, but his goals and assists will take a hit.
Players this deal helps, in order:
5. Dan Sexton
6. Tyler Bozak