A weekend with the Ducks on the road and no games being played would normally be a quiet one. Not this weekend. First Jonas Hiller was signed to a four year deal worth $18 million. The contract extension will keep him with the Ducks through the 2013-2014 season.
Since joining the Ducks in the 2007-2008 season, Hiller has continued to improve as a goaltender. At 27, he has posted a 54-37-5 record with a 2.46 goals-against average (GAA) and .919 save percentage (SV%) in 108 career NHL appearances with the Ducks.
“Jonas has proved himself as a starting NHL goaltender,” GM Bob Murray stated. “We expect him to only get better and are pleased he’s committed to us for four more seasons.”
For much of his time with the Ducks he was the 1B to Jean-Sebastien Giguere’s 1A. Last season Giguere stumbled in net and Hiller took over. While Giguere was back on track this year, the Ducks themselves stumbled around and by the time they figured things out, Hiller had already taken over the reins from Giguere.
After the signing of Hiller, the Ducks could then focus on a place for Giguere, who had a no trade clause in his contract that runs through the 2010-2011 season.
This morning the Ducks announced that Giguere would be heading to the Toronto Maple Leafs, a trade he readily agreed to as it reunites him with his goaltending coach, friend and mentor, Francois Allaire. It also reunites him with GM Brian Burke.
In exchange, the Ducks received goaltender Vesa Toskala and left wing Jason Blake. Toskala is a free agent at the end of this season and Blake is signed through 2012.
Giguere was clearly unhappy as his playing time decreased this year and losing Allaire as goaltending coach to the Ducks did not make things any better for the All-Star netminder.
Time for a fresh start and a new perspective and amongst his (now former) teammates, coaching staff and management, all wish him well in his new home.
“J.S. is as classy and professional as they come,” said Murray. “On behalf of the organization, we thank him for his tremendous contributions to the franchise both on and off the ice, not the least of which were two trips to the Stanley Cup Final and one championship. We wish him well in Toronto.”
Giguere played in 447 career games for Anaheim, posting a 206-163-54 record with 32 shutouts, a 2.47 GAA and .914 SV%. He ranks among Anaheim’s all-time franchise leaders in numerous categories, including wins (first), shutouts (first), GAA (fourth), saves (second with 11,290), appearances (first), starts (first with 432), minutes played (first with 25,646) and shots against (second with 12,347).
He has been a mainstay for the Ducks since being acquired from Calgary on June 10, 2000. Giguere helped lead Anaheim to the 2007 Stanley Cup Championship and won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Stanley Cup Playoffs MVP in 2003, taking the Ducks all the way to a game seven in the finals. In 52 career playoff appearances with Anaheim, Giguere compiled a 33-17 record with six shutouts, a 2.08 GAA and .925 SV%.
Giguere will be missed.