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Giguere Is Happy With How It’s All Working Out

Times Staff Writer

Once the trade deadline passed a week ago, Jean-Sebastien Giguere was happy to see some of the moves General Manager Brian Burke made to bolster the Ducks in their fight for a playoff spot.

More important, Giguere was delighted to not be part of the record number of transactions made in the NHL. The Ducks’ veteran goaltender wanted to see this final push through.

“I wanted to stay here,” Giguere said Wednesday. “Obviously, I love it in Anaheim. I think it’s a great place to play. I think the team is moving in the right direction finally with new ownership and new management.”

Giguere has bounced back from a subpar 2003-04 season. After the Ducks’ 3-1 loss to the Red Wings, the 29-year-old’s record fell to 19-10-11, but he has given up three or fewer goals in seven of his last nine starts and holds a 2.63 goals-against average.

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As Western Conference playoff hopefuls Vancouver and Edmonton searched for goaltending help, Giguere’s name often popped up in trade rumors even though he is owed nearly $4 million next season.

Burke, realizing that Giguere’s playoff experience could come in handy if they advance, went to the goalie last week to tell him he wasn’t moving. The Ducks’ 6-1-1 record in eight games before Wednesday also convinced the general manager to become a buyer.

“My name was around,” Giguere said. “But most of those rumors start from somewhere else and are not true at all. I didn’t think about that too much.

“I thought the team was going pretty good. I didn’t think it would be a good time to trade me or some of the guys.”

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Teemu Selanne said he couldn’t understand why Giguere’s name was being bandied about, considering his strong numbers and his work in the 2003 playoffs that earned him the Stanley Cup most valuable player award.

“What he has done for this organization has been unbelievable,” Selanne said. “He gives you a chance to win every night. You look at the great teams and it always starts from the goaltending. It doesn’t matter what level.”


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