Claude Giroux Has Been Traded to the Florida Panthers
The dreaded day has finally arrived; the Philadelphia Flyers have traded long-time player and captain Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers for Owen Tippett, a 2024 1st-round pick, and a 2023 3rd-round pick. The Flyers are retaining 50% of Giroux’s remaining salary and Connor Bunnaman, German Rubtsov and a 2024 5th-round pick were also included in the deal to go to the Panthers.
The 15-year veteran in Giroux has spent all his time with the Flyers as he just recently hit his 1000th game milestone. When the rumours first started out, the Flyers were hanging on by the thinnest thread but as the losses piled up, as the losing streaks turned from bad to worse, and with the myriad of injuries playing a factor, Giroux being dealt to a different team was starting to become a stark reality.
On the season, Claude Giroux has 18 goals and 42 points in 57 games, and was second on the team in goals, assists, and points. He was named to the Metropolitan Division All-Star team and then was subsequently named the captain once Alex Ovechkin sat out of the festivities in COVID protocols. He was named All-Star Game MVP but has struggled in the 15 games that proceeded, as he was only able to tally an additional 3 goals and 7 points but his impact was still noticeable. The stress and pressure that came with the trade deadline seemed to finally take over but the Flyers as a whole were put under that microscope with several other players being linked to incessant rumours.
There were several teams in the mix for his services but the two biggest names from the get-go were the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers. The St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames, Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, and Washington Capitals all came knocking at the door, but with the captain holding a no-movement clause dictating his future and the Flyers’ asking price being a prospect, player, a first round pick, several teams had to drop out.
After his 1000th game and the Flyers 5-4 victory on Thursday night against the Nashville Predators, almost immediately after the game had ended the rumours intensified. Out of the pack, only four remained in the Avalanche, Panthers, Rangers, and the Bruins. It was reported that Giroux had rejected offers from the Rangers and the Bruins, flexing his muscles and showing the power of the no-movement clause.
The Rangers and Bruins represented good playoff destinations but they are still a tier or a notch below the currently-vaunted Avalanche and Panthers. Both teams have made some moves earlier in the week where Colorado acquired Josh Manson from the Anaheim Ducks and Nico Sturm from the Minnesota Wild. Whereas the Panthers acquired Ben Chairot from the Montreal Canadiens and even though both teams made big splashes and shelled out vital futures, they were still in the hunt for the most sought-after trade deadline candidate.
With San Jose’s Tomas Hertl signing an 8-year extension and the Dallas Stars extending Joe Pavelski to a one-year extension, coupled with Ben Chiarot and Josh Manson already being dealt, the trade board was dwindling by the day. The Flyers removed Rasmus Ristolainen from the trade bait list after they extended him to a 5-year contract, Marc-Andre Fleury’s future is still in limbo, and with Jakob Chychrun most likely being a summertime trade option, Giroux’s name became that much bigger.
Since Thursday night, there were a lot of rumours, reports, and news pieces leaking about what the Avalanche and Panthers were offering, what the Flyers were asking for, and whether or not Giroux would waive his no-movement clause for the Avalanche. His preferred destination was always Florida, so Chuck Fletcher and company worked diligently to get an offer from the Panthers that matched the Avalanche’s offer to appease the captain’s desires; apparently they had the better of the two offers. In return the Flyers received Tippett, a 2024 1st, and a 2023 3rd.
With the trade deadline still a few days away and Claude Giroux being dealt, the next biggest name on the Philadelphia Flyers is Justin Braun. He has reportedly received serious interest from several contending teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Calgary Flames, and New York Rangers among others. The defense-market is currently thin after the two trades this week but some names that remain are Mark Giordano of Seattle, Calvin de Haan of Chicago, and Marc Staal of Detroit. Justin Braun is a dependable, defensive defenseman who can play all throughout the lineup but would represent a great depth addition for playoff team and an upgrade on the latter two names previously mentioned.
Other players to keep an eye on with the Monday deadline approaching are Keith Yandle, Derick Brassard, Nick Seeler, and Martin Jones as all are on expiring and cheap contracts, and can be used as depth pieces for a long playoff run. Yandle could be a tricky play however, as he holds a no-trade clause.