Is Versteeg on his way out? Latest Giguere News

Versteeg shrugs off trade rumours

Giguere wants to stay but only if he’ll play
Versteeg shrugs off trade rumours

Most of the excitement in the Toronto Maple Leafs dressing room this morning surrounded Joffrey Lupul, the newest addition, but on the other side of the room, Kris Versteeg was musing about his own name being thrown into the trade mix.

With defenceman Francois Beauchemin dealt back to the Anaheim Ducks, Versteeg is considered one of the next key players GM Brian Burke could move before the Feb. 28 deadline.

You try and keep the TV off as much as possible,” Versteeg said. “You’re in Toronto, it’s hard to ignore everything when you’re getting asked about it, but you do got to go out there and just try to play your game.”

Always a joker, Versteeg then quipped that he’s usually watching “x-rated stuff” than any trade rumour shows.

The Leafs winger denied one report that he is unhappy in Toronto and wants to move on, although it’s clear that – as with Beauchemin – there’s substance to the rumours that he is being shopped around.

Burke is likely looking for a centre with some size, as Versteeg hasn’t been able to fill the top-line role that coach Ron Wilson had initially envisioned for him.

“I don’t know too much,” Versteeg said. “Obviously from getting asked questions and everything, something might happen. You’ve got to take it as a compliment at times, too, if teams do want you to go help. But at the same time, it’s almost funny when you hear people [in the media] talk, there are times when they think I’m older than I really am.

“It’s only my third full year in the league, I’m 24 years old and when they talk it’s almost like I’m 30 years old and has done it all. And I haven’t done anything yet I feel like. It’s kind of funny.”

Versteeg has bounced around quite a bit in his career already, dating back to his junior days when he played for three teams in his last two years in the WHL. Part of the problem is that Versteeg is such a character, and his “out there” personality clashed at times with conservative coaches and GMs in the past.

The Leafs are the third NHL organization he’s been a part of since being drafted by the Bruins in 2004, and while he’s been solid enough in terms of point production and chipping in on the power play, Lupul’s arrival may mean Versteeg’s relegated to a third-line role full time.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/versteeg-shrugs-off-trade-rumours/article1902153/

Giguere wants to stay but only if he’ll play

Jean-Sebastien Giguere will get the start for the Toronto Maple Leafs tomorrow in his hometown of Montreal, but just how much longer his tenure in Toronto will be isn’t all that clear.

An unrestricted free agent this summer, Giguere is one of several Leafs who could be dealt before the NHL’s Feb. 28 trade deadline provided he waives his no-trade clause and a team is willing to take on the roughly $1.4-million that will be remaining on his cap hit.

Giguere sat down and discussed his situation with Leafs GM Brian Burke this week, but he didn’t want to reveal what was said.

“I’d rather it stay between me and him,” Giguere said. “The situation for me doesn’t change much. I love playing here, I would like to stay here in the future, but you don’t always control these situations.

“Hopefully I can give them a reason to keep me. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t even know if there’s a trade market for me anywhere. I still make a lot of money, so it’s something that can be tricky. I haven’t asked – anyway, I’m going to stop there.”

While Giguere has battled injury and inconsistency, the Leafs have been getting very good goaltending from rookie James Reimer since the start of January. If he can keep that up until the end of the year, he will be back in the NHL next season in one of Toronto’s two jobs in the crease.

Toronto also has Jonas Gustavsson under contract for next season, although the sophomore Swede has struggled and was seeing a specialist after he had an elevated heart rate during Wednesday’s game with the Toronto Marlies, where he has been playing on a two-week conditioning stint.

Unless it’s determined Gustavsson will play next season in the minors, it appears a crowded situation for the 33-year-old Giguere to return to and it’s believed he will waive his no-trade clause if teams show interest. Given his salary, age, injury issues and slipping play, the most he is likely to command at this point is a late round draft pick.

“Would I like to stay? Yeah,” Giguere said. “I like where this organization is going. I like living here … Saying that, this organization has a bunch of goalies in the system. So where does a veteran goalie fit into that? Does he fit into it? That’s a question you have to ask Burkie.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/giguere-wants-to-stay-but-only-if-hell-play/article1904079/