Panthers complete contract for TV star Claude Giroux

The Florida Panthers are making a game-changing move, acquiring longtime Flyers superstar Claude Giroux.

The deal comes just two days before the NHL deal deadline and there will be plenty of young talent for the Flyers to rebuild. Giroux will add consistent point production to the Panthers and the flexibility needed for a playoff. The Flyers are said to have received a 10th overall pick previously Owen Tippett, a 2024 first-round pick and a 2023 third-round pick.

This transaction greatly benefits both teams but will adversely affect the Philadelphia fan base. Giroux, who is in the midst of his 15th season for the Flyers, has been a fan favorite during his career with the team. The 34-year-old captain will finish his career as the Flyers runner-up in points, assists and games played. Giroux was also a major factor in the Flyers’ playoffs in 2010 when the team lost the Stanley Cup final to the Blackhawks. He’s scored ten goals and eleven assists during that span.

Florida Panthers class

The Florida Panthers are ditching a lot of future talent for the veteran star but it’s a good move for a team that is in win-now mode. The Panthers currently hold the best record in the eastern conference and are just three points behind Avalanche for the Presidents Cup. The team did not win a playoff series since 1996 and was finally considered a contender for the trophy.

Giroux adds a veteran presence with playoff experience to a team that is missing that division. Florida stars including Huberdeau, Barkov, Duclair and Aaron Ekblaad have never won a playoff series. Giroux played 85 playoffs and contributed 73 points in that span. His leadership will be crucial for an inexperienced team.

Giroux also adds quality depth in the center and wings for attacking high-flying Panthers. The Panthers have struggled with head-to-head matches this season as they sit 26th in the standings. Giroux’s impressive season sees a drastic improvement in confrontation game. The former Flyer leads the league in head-to-head matches, has won head-to-head matches and holds a 53.6% head-to-head ratio this season.

Panthers coach Andrew Brunette will most likely give Giroux time on the wing, pairing him with Barkov and Verhaeghe on the front lines. Brunette will also present him with plenty of new acquisition opportunities with the power play unit where Giroux has been productive this season. In addition to his excellent head-to-head stats, Giroux has scored 3 goals and 12 points in the powerhouse this season. Powerplay will be electric with Groux on the ice moving forward.

While Giroux added reliable production to the Panthers, his acquisition came at a heavy price. The Panthers will lose an extremely talented prospect along with two high-draft picks. Owen Tippett is the 10th overall pick of 2017 and shows potential as an elite goalscorer in the AHL. Tippett generated 40 points for the Springfield Thunderbirds in the 2019-2020 season. He’s been struggling to find a spot on the Panthers’ talented roster, so the move should help him find quality skating time in the NHL.

The future of the Panthers may be in doubt after multiple options trading in recent years. Last year’s acquisition of Sam Reinhart costs for the team selected in the first round. This means the team won’t have a first pick in 2023 or 2024.

The trade-off will cost the Panthers in the future but that won’t matter if the team wins the first Stanley Cup.

Grade A

Philadelphia Flyers Class

The Flyers are in full rebuild mode after a disastrous season. The team is currently second to last in their division. Trading Giroux is the final step for Philadelphia to commit to full reconstruction and the team can trade more veterans in the coming days.

Giroux was the guy in Philadelphia for 14 seasons and his departure will leave fans heartbroken. Still, it’s time for a change in Philadelphia, and this deal is a great start for the Flyers.

The old captain was costly team over 10 percent of their cap space and will be an unrestricted free agent this season. Trading the 34-year-old allows the team to have a positive season with more money and more draft capital.

The key acquirer for the Flyers in this deal is Owen Tippett, who will be spectacular when he is awarded quality minutes to the flyers. The 23-year-old winger has played in 42 NHL games this season and created 14 in that span. Tippett also seems to have had a big impact on the team’s performance as he has made a positive plus or minus for the NHL this season.

Developing young stars and recruiting quality players will be key to rebuilding the Flyers quickly. Only time will tell how Tippett and future draft options will develop.

Rank – B + Panthers complete contract for TV star Claude Giroux

John Verrall

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