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Morning Papers Take Two: Giguere putting team and teammate in awkward position

In this morning’s Western Conference Morning Papers, Eric Stephens of the OC Register had the latest details on the Jean-Sebastien Giguere saga surrounding the Ducks:

Fully aware of the uproar created from his outspoken frustration about his backup status, Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said he does not want a trade and only wants a chance to win back his starting job.

“I want to be part of this team,” Giguere said Wednesday. “I want to be a No. 1 here in Anaheim. This is the team I’ve been playing for the last 10 years. I absolutely love playing here. I think this team has great potential. I want to be here.”

Jean-Sebastien Giguere is known as one of the “good guys” in the National Hockey League but his comments over the past couple days don’t reflect well on him.  The fact is, he says he wants the top job in Anaheim and I don’t blame him for wanting that job back.  My issue is with the fact that he is openly stating his desire to reclaim the number one spot.  What good comes from that?  Maybe it serves to pressure the organization, but trades aren’t a real option for Bob Murray because of Giguere’s salary ($6 million this season and $7 million next season).

If Giguere wants to pressure management, I don’t have  a real issue with that because Bob Murray is far too smart to have that play a factor in any roster decisions.  Rather, my issue with this comment lies with the position he puts Jonas Hiller in.  Now Hiller has to answer questions about these comments, his job and how the two will get along in the future.  The Ducks have been struggling so far this season and this is the last thing the team needs.

Moreover, the stats from the last three seasons and this season dictate that Hiller is rightfully the team’s number one netminder.  Since 2007-08, Hiller has posted a .921 save percentage.  Over that same time period, Giguere has posted a .911 save percentage. 

The Ducks are going to ride Hiller, and with the 27 year old netminder closing in on UFA status, expect the team to sign him to an extension before too long.  Giguere may want his job back, but he should keep that desire to himself and improve upon his numbers if he wants a real shot at taking the starting netminding job from his talented teammate.