Giroux Narrows NMC Shortlist to Three Teams

Flyers Claude Giroux
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 17: Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) warms up before the NHL Preseason game between the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers on September 17, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia PA. (Photo by Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)

Regarding Claude Giroux, the question is no longer “where?”

Last night, per Adrian Dater of Colorado Hockey Now, the Philadelphia Flyers captain advised three teams to Chuck Fletcher. One is obvious, one has a history with Fletcher, and the other is a little more of a wildcard:

What moves the needle for Giroux? Salary retention is a given. The Flyers will have to retain around half of his salary but can ask for a prospect, a player, and a first-round pick. If those three want to rent to contend, they have to give to receive Giroux. Here are a few deals that could take place based on where Giroux said he would accept a trade:

Minnesota Wild

Ryan Ellis and Ivan Provorov must remain healthy together for the Philadelphia Flyers to thrive on defense. Provorov is always available, except when COVID protocol stopped his consecutive game streak. Ellis, on the other hand, only played four games this season. Once he was unavailable, the entire defense shifted because the left needed to compensate for the right. It would be wise to target a young player who can help the Flyers’ lack of depth at RD.

A trade to the Wild begins with salary retention. Philadelphia would likely eat half of the existing contract while trading Giroux. In the process of doing so, they can afford younger talent who haven’t yet received their NHL payday.

In return, the Flyers could begin a sound rebuild. Every trade proposal must include a first-round pick for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. In Minnesota, two young players catch my attention. One is an RD; the other is an LW/RW hybrid.

MIN receives Claude Giroux; PHI retains 50% of Giroux’s contract, receives MIN first-round pick at the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, and either RD Calen Addison or LW/RW Matthew Boldy.

St. Louis Blues

Here is where it all gets juicy for the fanbase.

Vladimir Tarasenko finally makes sense as a target. He won’t do any favors for the Philadelphia Flyers in terms of cap space, but the St. Louis Blues could bring Giroux and Brayden Schenn together. In terms of the fit for each club, it’s a win-win.

Unfortunately, trades aren’t always that easy. There are necessary semantics and context to root around.

First, both of these players cost around the same amount. Salary retention shouldn’t be as critical a factor. However, the Flyers could have a little more pull than they realize. Tarasenko costs $7.5mil/AAV and is a free agent at the end of 2023. Giroux costs $8.25mil/AAV but is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.

Giroux could sign a team-friendly extension no matter where he goes in the offseason. Philadelphia, in this scenario, would be stuck with another high contract for one more season. A trade facilitating these two alone won’t include a first-round draft pick. Maybe Fletcher has to give a little more to get a little more.

STL receives Claude Giroux and Morgan Frost; PHI receives Vladimir Tarasenko and a conditional first-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Colorado Avalanche

The likely destination. Much of the buzz surrounding a Giroux trade comes from the Avalanche. A particular detail, telegraphing this as an option, was when Daniel Briere reportedly scouted Colorado against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Of the franchises on Giroux’s shortlist, the Avalanche are the only team without a first-round pick to trade for the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The Philadelphia Flyers could leverage a better prospect than others are willing to sacrifice, and the Avalanche would include a first-round pick for the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. Fletcher doesn’t execute a trade with Colorado without paying a little. Retention for Giroux matches the amount in the proposal for the Minnesota Wild.

Already stubborn about not trading Alex Newhook, the Avalanche may have to include JT Compher or Tyson Jost with a prospect and the 2023 first-round pick. Additionally, the Flyers should look towards bolstering their RD depth.

COL receives Claude Giroux; PHI retains 50% of Giroux’s contract, receives a first-round pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft, Tyson Jost, and Justin Barron.

(Gavin Baker/Icon Sportswire)