Ducks' Jean-Sebastien Giguere backtracks on retirement talk
Ducks goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, relegated to a backup role last season while he struggled with his father's death, was quoted in the L.A. Daily News this week as saying he'd rather retire than continue to occupy a secondary role.
He softened his stance Wednesday, saying he has no intention of retiring and that his initial comments didn't come out quite the way he wanted. At least he didn't fall back on the usual excuse of being quoted out of context, often a refuge of athletes who don't realize the impact of what they're saying.
Giguere, who won the Conn Smythe trophy as the most valuable player in the 2003 playoffs and led the Ducks to the Stanley Cup in 2007, says he wants to stay with the Ducks and hopes to regain the starting job. That's going to be difficult, because Jonas Hiller has played well and Giguere, only recently activated off the injured reserve list, has not excelled in his limited playing time
This will have to come to a head for the Ducks, and fairly soon. They can't afford to take a $6 million salary-cap hit on a backup goalie, but they can't trade him until they're sure they can retain Hiller, who will be a free agent after this season. If they do trade Giguere soon they're not likely to get a whole lot for him, unless another team's No.1 goalie suffers a long-term injury.
The Ducks might get a bigger return if they wait until closer to the trading deadline, when teams usually look for the final piece or pieces they think will put them over the top. By then, they could be out of the playoff chase and be ready to sell off. In the meantime, Giguere is expected to get a start on the team's current trip, which continues to Columbus on Friday, Detroit on Saturday and Pittsburgh on Monday.
Incidentally, center Saku Koivu was a late scratch from the Ducks' game at New Jersey on Wednesday because of a lower-body injury.
-- Helene Elliott
Photo: Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Credit: Robert Binder.