There seems to have been a halt to the goaltending merry-go-round that was in the Ducks' crease for most of this season. Jonas Hiller now has a strangle-hold on the #1 job, and Giguere is warming the bench quite admirably while awaiting a now inevitable trade.
Adding to Giguere's distress has to be the reports in the OC Register that confirm two things: 1) Hiller will not sign where he can't be the top guy and 2) The Ducks are in contract negotiations with Hiller. Arthur, with Giguere most likely on the move, but the size of his contract will probably mean that somebody is doing us a bit of a favor by taking him off our hands. Is it possible to move Giguere without having to "pay" a team to do it?
I think we have to set aside the 'pay' a team or not 'pay' a team question and just admit that there are no takers. If we are to believe Bob Murray, and he is our local representative on all things trade-related, the trade waters are stagnant. Granted, after he said that, the Capitals pulled off a nice trade for Chimera, but by and large, despite an injury riddled season, NHL teams have turned to their own farm systems and judicious use of the waiver wire rather than make a marquee move. And if we need to move 6M, it's a marquee move.
Now, I could talk about the kind of goaltender Giguere is and why he has inherent value, but the trading block is a market system and no demand means no demand. There IS no inherent value. I could point to trade rumors, but for every rumor, there's vehement denial. And for every, "I'm willing to waive my trade clause," there isn't even a rumor of an offer. Whatever IS out there, GM's are playing it very close to their chest, and I can't really make an educated guess at this point.
I keep coming back to this as many times as we broach this subject, but there's an offer on the table from Toronto. I don't know why neither side has pulled the trigger, but it's there, and it may be one of two or maybe three offers at the deadline. Right now, there's no reason to believe it won't be the best. To make the money work, they might have to unload something, and they might have to unload it on us-- and that would be 'paying' to get rid of Jiggy. But if the market is as dead as Murray thinks it is, then Burke is doing us a favor, and we're getting off easy on Giguere's contract.
I think it's fair to say that getting rid of Jiggy will be no easy task. As you've already pointed out, it's impossible to get a read on the market. But worse, the market is about to be saturated with options. Halak, Price, Turco, Vokoun, Biron, Hedberg, Pavelec and Lehtonen could be moved in various combinations, flooding what little market might have developed. To answer THIS question as directly as possible, I don't think the Ducks can move Giguere's contract without sweetening the deal for whomever takes him off our hands. Something extra, either a prospect or a pick, will have to be thrown in to get a team to bite on Giguere. I still believe there's a very solid starting goalie occupying Jiggy's pads, I just don't know who is interested in acquiring that goalie and using him to take a deep ride into the playoffs.
The Hockey News' Lyle Richardson suggests the Ducks consider a buyout. Sadly, this might be the best option. However, if the Ducks have to swallow this cap hit over the next two years, 1.33 and 2.33 respectively, it might greatly limit their ability to make additional off season moves, a serious concern with Bobby Ryan and Jonas Hiller looking at some very impressive raises this summer.
At this point, the Ducks need to take what they can get for Giguere instead of trying to make a good deal. Let's face it, losing 6 million off the cap is a HUGE deal. Finally, as a fan it is sometimes hard to accept the business aspect of these situations. I will always have fond memories of Giguere and everything he's done for us, including winning the Cup. However, moving him is the best move for the organization. Still, we'll never forget you, Jiggy, and the wonderful things we saw when you were in the crease.