Earlier today, Anaheim announced that a familiar face will be returning to their blue line roster. In a trade with Toronto, Anaheim sent forward Joffrey Lupul and defensive prospect Jake Gardiner to the Leafs in order to get Francois Beauchemin back in a Ducks jersey.
For an Anaheim team that has been struggling on the back check for most of this season, any depth they can add to their blue line is a good move, especially when it includes a name and face that Anaheim remembers fondly. When Beauchemin played his first stint with Anaheim, he was a key component in the Ducks Stanley Cup Championship in the 2006-2007 season. Since then, Frankie has been playing with Toronto where he didn't fit in as well. Hopefully, his playing style hasn't change much because Beau's style mixed perfectly with the Anaheim defense then, and it will add a lot now.
In bringing Beauchemin to the Ducks, GM Bob Murray traded away Joffrey Lupul and prospect Jake Gardiner. Gardiner hasn't made his NHL Debut to date, and with all the young talent already in the Ducks lineup, specifically with Fowler and Sbisa, Gardiner has more of a chance in Toronto.
Lupul is a great offensive talent, and one that it hurts to let go, but in reality, the depth that Anaheim had on offense was enough to make Bob Murray focus more on defense strengthening. Lupul, since returning to the Ducks last season, has been forced to fight through a career-threatening injury which limited his playing time both last season and this season. Overall, Lupul will absolutely be missed, however, he was held to a position on the third-line in Anaheim, he will probably get more playing time and a spot on a higher line with the Maple Leafs.
All in all, this trade really helped both teams, and on top of all of the defense that Beau brings with him he also eases the salary cap hit. Beauchemin's contract is smaller, and shorter than Lupuls, meaning if Anaheim decides to extend his contract, they can focus on resigning Perry, Getzlaf, and Ryan once their contracts expire.
Beauchemin's acquisition adds experience and depth to the struggling Anaheim defense, and now that the Ducks have nine defenders with the, they will be poised to make another move before the trade deadline shedding a blue liner in favor of another strong forward.