For those of you who aren't around here a lot, Arthur and I are both big fans of François Beauchemin. Personally, I think not re-signing Beauchemin is Bob Murray's original sin. It's the mistake that has set the franchise back. Now, he has a chance to rectify that mistake.
TSN's Darren Dreger has tweeted that interest in Beauchy is on the rise, and it should be. He's logging the most minutes on the Toronto blue line and has a decent -5 rating for a team that is 13th in the Eastern Conference. He has a Stanley Cup ring and can change the momentum of a playoff series. Just ask Jarome Iginla. For Ducks fans, Beauchemin represents an opportunity to get back to the identity that has evaded them since they hoisted the Cup in 2007. It's also important to note that Beauchemin has a limited No Trade Clause, and that a return to the good times in Anaheim might be a great way to get around that. The details of a potential deal from the mind of yours truly will be after the jump, but unlike previous GM segments I've done, there is no definitive deal. Rather, I have laid out the shell of a deal, because I think there are numerous ways to make this deal happen.
Choice of Sheldon Brookbank, Paul Mara, or Andy Sutton
Any forward prospect not named, Emerson Etem, Devante Smith-Pelley, or Kyle Palmieri
A pick or second forward prospect, depending on the quality of the previously taken prospect.
This deal can play out in a few key ways, but let's get to the ugly part first. The Leafs have to take one of our extra defenseman. The clutter of 9 D on the roster needs to be resolved, and the Ducks need a little cap relief in taking Beauchemin's salary. Toronto has demonstrated the willingness to bury D in the AHL and eat the salary, so taking back Sutton probably won't be detrimental. He is still a huge defender who comes at a decent price. No matter who Toronto takes, they'll get a guy who can play well in the NHL and not disrupt the other guys on their blue line. Although, I imagine Mara's one year contract is the most attractive.
The Leafs need scoring. The Ducks have a very nice collection of forward prospects. Peter Holland might be the size and skill guy Burke would like centering Phil Kessel next year. Nicolas Deschamps could play in their top 6 this season if so desired, albeit to mixed results. Dan Sexton has the speed and shooting ability to be a scorer at this level, the Ducks just haven't had space for him. Nick Bonino has shown offensive creativity, but not finishing. Of course, that wouldn't be a problem if he's playing with Kulemin, Kessel or Versteeg. As long as he isn't on the list above, you can have him.
Then there's the second aspect of this deal. When I tried to picture the deal I would do, I saw myself dealing Bonino and Sexton. Both of those guys have scoring potential and NHL experience. Moreover, they'd probably be better off in the Eastern Conference. I LOVE Dan Sexton. He's not your prototypical Burke forward, but he's still gritty and good in the corners. I think he could play well for the Leafs. Brandon McMillan and Matt Beleskey should also be available, but I would think that they would be sufficient pick ups without the inclusion of a second piece.
If Toronto goes after a Peter Holland or Nic Deschamps, I think the second component should be either their 6th round pick we got in the Pogge deal, or a 4th round or later pick in 2012. If they chose Dan Sexton or Bonino, but not both, then maybe a 2nd or 3rd round in 2012 should fulfill the second component of this trade. Either way, I'm sure the Ducks have the resources to put together a package that can be beneficial to both teams.
Beauchemin represents an opportunity to get our organization back on track. He knows Carlyle's system and has been a workhorse for Randy in the past. He can play special teams and even strength, but more importantly, he knows how to play Ducks hockey. He's the type of guy who can keep Getzlaf and Perry on track. Murray has to make this deal. Who better to let Cam Fowler explore his future as the next Scott Niedermayer, than the guy who was paired with Scotty for a Stanley Cup victory? Beauchemin could be the difference between the Ducks being in the playoffs and making an impact, and an early summer vacation. Murray has to get in on this battle.
Finally, all of these pieces are negotiable, and I'd love to hear from Ducks and Toronto fans as to whether this deal might have some potential. The Leafs and Ducks have engaged in some dealing in the past, and a deal of this magnitude could greatly benefit both clubs. This is the type of impact move Ducks fans have been hoping for. It's time for Murray to take ownership of this club and collect quality pieces. He might have to overpay a little, but the security he'd get for his defense going into the future could move the Ducks from contending for the playoffs to contending IN the playoffs.