TORONTO – J.S. Giguere is willing to consider waiving the no-movement clause in his contract if the Toronto Maple Leafs want to try to deal him before the trade deadline.
With Giguere’s former team making a rare stop in Toronto on Thursday, the attention turned to his future with the Maple Leafs. The 33-year-old goaltender is in the final year of a US$24-million, four-year contract he signed with Anaheim after winning the Stanley Cup in 2007.
The Leafs are rebuilding and might be inclined to give James Reimer, currently with the AHL’s Marlies, another chance to play alongside Jonas Gustavsson. It could leave Giguere as the odd man out.
“I haven’t asked, I haven’t waived my no-trade,” Giguere said Thursday morning before facing the Ducks for the first time. “I haven’t talked to (Leafs GM Brian Burke) at all about it. … If Burkie was to come see me I would owe him the respect to think about it and to talk to my family about it.”
It’s unclear what kind of a market might be out there.
Groin problems slowed Giguere down after a decent start to the season and his numbers now rank in the bottom third among goalies—2.73 goals-against average and .898 save percentage entering play Thursday. He is also earning more money than every NHL goaltender except Roberto Luongo and Henrik Lundqvist this season.
Working in Giguere’s favour is the fact he’s proven to be a great playoff performer and has a reputation as a great teammate. The Ducks still rave about him, with coach Randy Carlyle saying Thursday: “The day we traded Giggy to Toronto was the day we lost part of our franchise. Orange County was a better place because he played in Anaheim.”
Giguere was traded to the Leafs on Jan. 31 last year in exchange for Jason Blake and Vesa Toskala.
He quickly became one of the most popular players in the Toronto dressing room and has been very supportive of both Gustavsson and Reimer when they were given starts. Giguere likes the organization and is holding out hope that Burke might look at giving him a new contract.
“I see (a future in Toronto),” said Giguere. “But I don’t know what management wants. Maybe they want to go with the young guys. Maybe they want to have an older guy and a young guy. I don’t know what’s in their mind.
“I personally need to just play some games and try to get some good games together. This is the bottom line just to help myself and to help the team. If I do that then I give myself options and I give them some options too.”