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How The Maple Leafs-Ducks Trade Impacts The Salary Cap

What’s significant about today’s Francois Beauchemin for Joffrey Lupul deal? A number of NHL GMs have groused about how every deal out there has had to be both a mix of talent-for-talent and cap-for-cap. With Toronto and Anaheim dealing today, they’ve done roughly just that.

Here’s the cap shakedown.

Francois Beauchemin
Cap Hit: $3.8 million
Remaining Salary: $3.650 million (2011-12)

Joffrey Lupul
Cap Hit: $4.250
Remaining Salary: $4.250 million (2011-12, 2012-13)

There’s a swing of 600k going towards Toronto. Anaheim was already around $3 million under the cap, and this will give them some more wiggle room for any moves over the next three weeks while ditching a bad contract.

While this looks like essentially a one-for-one deal, there’s a little more to the equation. Yes, Anaheim gets some much-needed blueline help while Toronto tries to find any veteran scoring (despite Lupul’s mediocre and injury-plagued season), but the steal to all of this could be Anaheim throwing in former first-rounder Jake Gardiner.

Gardiner, who is currently with the Wisconsin Badgers, was Anaheim’s top defensive prospect behind now-NHLer Cam Fowler. Gardiner has 14 points in 20 games with the Badgers; considering that Lupul had two more years left and was underachieving for his cap hit, Gardiner was the key to making this transaction happen. If Lupul can return to form with Toronto, all the better for Brian Burke.

All numbers courtesy of NHL Numbers.