When I saw today's deal with the Leafs sending Francois Beauchemin back to Anaheim for Jeff Lupul, a college player, and a conditional 4th round pick; something didn't seem right. Unless Beauchemin has gotten worse and Gardiner is better than I think he is, this is not an equal value trade. Lupul is barely average and gets hurt a lot and the 4th round pick has maybe a 5% probability of becoming a player as good as Beauchemin. I can't say that I am an expert on Jake Gardiner, who was a 1st round pick, but when a collegiate draft pick stays in school for the full term, it does diminish the probability that he makes it to the NHL. The NCAA is not a great developmental league for those crucial formative years. They don't play enough games.
Last year when the Leafs were overloaded on D my Leaf fan buddy said Beauch was the ony guy he would not trade because he had a Stanley Cup ring. Evidently he saw that experience as having value on the development of young players. But when the trade broke today, he just said that Beauch had gotten worse and this was a salary dump. The odds are stacked against Gardiner becoming Beauchemin, and Lupul ain't making the Leafs a playoff team.