Anaheim Ducks: Detailing The Greatest Larceny In Team History

Jan 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A bronze statue of a vintage goalie at the Hockey Hall of Fame before the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Calgary Flames at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Flames 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Jan 23, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A bronze statue of a vintage goalie at the Hockey Hall of Fame before the Toronto Maple Leafs game against the Calgary Flames at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Flames 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Anaheim Ducks’ fleecing of the Flames acquisition of Giguere seemed innocent enough. They wanted some goaltending depth in the farm system, so they looked for a bright young prospect who could put in some minutes in Cincinnati of the AHL.

Giguere seemed to fit the bill. After all, despite already playing for Hartford and Calgary, he was still considered a rookie due to games played. It seemed to fill a void.

In addition, his dehydration issues were causing a concern in the Flames organization. That lowered Calgary’s asking price to a mere draft pick.

What followed on June 10, 2000 was one of the most lopsided trades in NHL history.

Trade’s original form

The original trade was as follows:

To Calgary:

  • 2000 2nd round draft pick

To Anaheim:

  • Jean-Sebastien Giguere

What happened in Anaheim

Giguere was sent to the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the AHL, where he put up a sparking .917 save percentage. So that caught the attention of Anaheim, and he was recalled to the NHL. In short time, he took over Dominic Roussel’s role as backup to starter Guy Hebert.

Re-signing with Anaheim in the off-season, he became the starting goaltender in 2001-02, merely one year after being acquired as a prospect. The next season, he then led the Mighty Ducks to their first-ever appearance in the Stanley Cup Final, narrowly losing the Stanley Cup to the New Jersey Devils.

Oh, and he also held the Minnesota Wild scoreless for 217 minutes straight along the way. He was obviously not happy just doing that, so he decided to also win the Conn Smythe Trophy as the playoff MVP, becoming only the fifth player to win it while on the losing team.

No big deal.

In 2006-07, he again backstopped the Anaheim Ducks to the Final, and this time he captured the Stanley Cup, solidifying his reputation as the best goaltender in franchise history.

The Remaining Pieces:

He continued with the Anaheim Ducks but as many players do as they get older, his performance started to decline as he lost the starting goaltender position to newcomer Jonas Hiller.

On January 31st, 2010, he was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs for Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala.

Blake played a few seasons with the Ducks before retiring in 2012. Toskala never appeared in a game for the Ducks and was traded a few months into his Anaheim stint, to the Calgary Flames for Curtis McElhinney in 2010.

McElhinney appeared in 31 games for Anaheim, before being traded to Tampa Bay for Dan Ellis in 2011. And Ellis was meant to be the starting goaltender for the Ducks in the playoffs that year, but lost the role to another newcomer, Ray Emery.

Ellis left the Anaheim Ducks in 2012 as a free agent. Blake retired around the same time, marking the last remaining Ducks connection to the Giguere trade.

Meanwhile in Calgary

Calgary received Anaheim’s 2000 2nd round draft pick for Giguere. Not satisfied with it (or perhaps trying to make up for the mistake), they attempted to upgrade it by trading the pick to the Washington Capitals for Miika Elomo and a 4th round draft pick in 2000, who turned out to be Levente Szuper. Total NHL games between those two players: 2.

The Washington Capitals used it to get Matt Pettinger, who appeared in 422 NHL games with 3 NHL teams.

Yeah.

Trade’s final form (2000-2012)

After the dust had settled, this was what the Ducks and Flames got in the end.

(Remember that there were two Giguere trades, both to and from the Anaheim Ducks. Also, there were two trades with the Flames with Giguere roots. Confusing, I know. Bear with us here.)

For Anaheim (2000 trade + 2010 trade):

  • Jean-Sebastien Giguere
    • 447 games (206-163-59, .913 SV%)
    • Traded to Toronto in 2010
  • Jason Blake
    • 147 games (29G, 30A = 59 points)
    • Retired in 2012
  • Dan Ellis:
    • 23 games (9-8-1, .914 SV%)
    • Left as free agent in 2012

For Calgary (2000 trade + 2010 trade):

  • Miika Elomo:
    • 0 games played
    • Left as free agent in 2001
  • Levente Szuper:
    • 0 games played
    • Left as free agent in 2003
  • Vesa Toskala:
    • 6 games (2-0-0, .898 SV%)
    • Left as free agent in 2010

Bonus coverage – For Toronto (2010 trade):

  • Jean-Sebastien Giguere:
    • 48 games (17-18-0, .908 SV%)
    • Left as free agent in 2011

Who won the trade(s)?

The “final form” is the most interesting part about tracking the breadcrumbs of trades. It shows all the pieces in play from start to finish.

For Calgary, it was a close trade that benefitted both sides. And by “both sides,” we mean Anaheim.

However, the trade with Toronto failed to continue the legacy of Giguere, as Blake and Ellis barely registered in the Anaheim Ducks history books. The breadcrumbs of the Giguere traded ended with a whimper, rather than giving rise to another superstar. It is hard to argue that whether the Ducks won the second trade with Toronto.

But the Flames definitely lost this one, no matter how you slice it.

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