It’s scuttlebutt season for the non-playoff teams in the NHL. This is the time of the year where players get thrown around like acid at a Grateful Dead concert in trade talks and rumors. From a fans perspective, it’s wonderful. Dream scenarios of acquiring top targets is enough to get them through to the draft and free agency. For the realists out there, it’s about as frustrating as can be. Even more frustrating when discussing Claude Giroux and his situation.
Claude Giroux seems to be the topic of a never ending discussion. With one year left on his $8.275 million deal, the timing could be right to cash out and fetch something in return. The main destination being discussed is Ottawa with the Senators, at least as of late. The Sens have plenty of cap room to make the deal happen. The Flyers could use Giroux’s cap hit to bring in a solid top-pairing defenseman to put with Ivan Provorov. Why hasn’t this deal been done yet?
There’s a multitude of reasons why Giroux hasn’t been traded to Ottawa. For starters, the market hasn’t even opened up yet. Beyond that, a deal between Philadelphia and Ottawa for Giroux just doesn’t make sense from the Flyers standpoint.
It’s not a great fit
While the Philadelphia Flyers aren’t in total rebuild mode, they’re starting to inch closer to staring down that barrel. The Senators are inching closer to exiting their rebuild, ever so slowly. Giroux could be the piece for Ottawa that kick starts their crusade towards contention, but the Flyers still could use him.
A lot of this hinges on whether Chuck Fletcher proves capable of addressing the needs that are still lingering from last offseason. Grabbing one, maybe two, top-four defensemen and a capable backup for Carter Hart are glaring needs. If Fletcher succeeds in doing so, the Flyers could look more like the 2019/20 Flyers that were one win away from the Eastern Conference Finals. If that’s the case, then trading away a key component to that team would make little sense.
What exactly does Ottawa have to offer in a deal for Claude Giroux? Historically, deals for solid veteran forwards fetch picks and prospects. Are the Senators done stockpiling the farm system just yet? For starters, they have 11 picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. That’s more than enough to entice a team to deal one of their stars. Paired with some of their prospects, and it could get the deal done for sure.
The Flyers may not be in a position to accept any type of pick or prospect in return for Giroux. If they are committed to contending for the foreseeable future, then bringing in more uncertainties like picks and prospects just doesn’t fit the bill. They’d likely be looking for a player that could contribute right away in return. Those types of players are the ones that Ottawa will likely be reluctant to deal, and rightfully so.
Doing Claude Giroux a solid
Claude Giroux is 33 years old. He’s spent his entire career with the Philadelphia Flyers. He has the third-most points of any Flyer, 25 behind Bill Barber for second on the all-time leading scorers list for the Flyers. He’s played the second-most games in Flyers history and has the second-most assists in team history. The man is a Philadelphia Flyer through and through. If he’s getting traded, he’s getting traded to a sure-fire contender.
While Ottawa has some promise, it just isn’t enough and the timelines don’t coincide with him having a realistic chance at hoisting Lord Stanley in a Sens sweater. The Flyers would be doing Giroux an incredible disservice by trading him somewhere that doesn’t present the immediate chance to compete for the Stanley Cup. Having already wasted his prime years as a Flyer, it would be a slap in the face on the way out the door to trade him to a team that wouldn’t have a realistic chance at winning the cup before Giroux retires.
Not to mention, Giroux’s contract contains a full no-movement clause. Say what you will, but Giroux would likely veto any type of deal to Ottawa even before it comes to his attention.
Tis the season for wild rumors about trades and free agent signings. This one, however, just doesn’t make sense on any level. If the Flyers are trading Giroux, they’re looking for an immediate-impact type of return. If Giroux is getting traded, he’s looking to go to a surefire contender, and that isn’t Ottawa. It’s time to put these Giroux-to-Ottawa talks to bed for good. There’s little-to-no chance a deal like that goes down.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre