Reese’s Remarks: The Flyers and the 2022 Trade Deadline

Flyers' Claude Giroux
PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 18: Philadelphia Flyers Left Wing Claude Giroux (28) celebrates a goal in the first period during the game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers on November 18, 2021 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)

The 2022 NHL Trade Deadline is history. The Philadelphia Flyers traded their franchise player, putting in motion the beginning stages of the “aggressive retool” labeled by Chuck Fletcher and Dave Scott earlier.

Throughout the city, all the attention rallied around Claude Giroux. The deal is signed, sealed, and delivered. How was Owen Tippett in his debut? Was the trade return underwhelming? Finally, is there a relationship between Fletcher and Giroux that welcomes a reunion in the offseason?

Other hot stove players feature Justin Braun, Derick Brassard, and Martin Jones. Two of those names are no longer in Philadelphia.

Let’s dive deep into more topics, including further evaluation regarding Giroux to the Florida Panthers.

Giroux Ceremony (+)

The Philadelphia Flyers ceremony for Giroux was incredible. Before taking on the Nashville Predators, he took a picture with his team. They’re his hockey family, of course.

Giroux waved to the crowd, and his son, Gavin, waved back. He spoke about it briefly in the press conference following the 5-4 win:

“I waved to the crowd to say thanks. Gavin decided to do the same. It kinda cracked me up a little bit.”

Claude Giroux; 3/17/2022

Philadelphia embraced everything Giroux for his one-thousandth game, including grilled cheese sandwiches.

Following the pregame superstitions, the Flyers won one for their captain. Joel Farabee accounted for the game-winner, making the evening even more special. Giroux named Farabee to be the player who breaks all of his records. A passing of the torch in his final home game in Philadelphia.

The Giroux Trade

It’s okay to be undecided about the trade that sent Giroux to the Florida Panthers. We’ve heard many things about what the possible return could be. Owen Tippett was always a constant, but what about a chance at a 2023 first-round pick? If not that pick, what about another high-end prospect?

Overall, the Philadelphia Flyers traded Giroux, Connor Bunnaman, and German Rubtsov with a 2024 fifth-round pick to the Panthers for Tippett, a 2023 third-round pick, and a conditional 2024 first-round pick.

“He’s a member of the Florida Panthers, so I have to be careful what I say, but I can tell you we have a great relationship. I haven’t read any media accounts, so I don’t know if people are saying anything to the contrary. This is a great fit for him for now, and he’ll have that option, like every pending UFA, to make that decision this summer.”

Chuck Fletcher; 3/20/2022

Mindful of any comments that could seem like tampering, Fletcher understands Giroux could decide to return to Philadelphia. The door is open, and if that does happen, the Flyers give Giroux a run at the Stanley Cup while trading Bunnaman, Rubtsov, and mid-round pick in 2024 for Tippett and better draft capital.

It’s been a talking point for so long. I believe Giroux does want to return to Philadelphia. If Florida wins the Stanley Cup or doesn’t make the Stanley Cup Finals, the decision is easier to come back to the City of Brotherly Love. If Giroux battles for the Stanley Cup and loses the series, it’s hard to blame him for Cup chasing in South Beach. There are layers of reasons to watch Giroux in the upcoming postseason.

“The last four days, the fans have been unbelievable. Everywhere I went, they had so many nice things to say. It’s definitely not an easy place to play in, but they’re passionate, they’re intense, they’re nuts. That’s the kind of fans you want to play for.”

Claude Giroux; 3/21/2022

The Identity Line (+)

Headlined by Zack MacEwen, the Philadelphia Flyers might’ve forged a solid fourth line.

It’s tough not to notice MacEwen on the ice. Listen to the episode of Nasty Knuckles where he was the guest. He is built for Philadelphia, evident by his fight victory over Michael McCarron. The Flyers were already playing for Giroux, but MacEwen fought for him.

MacEwen was claimed off waivers last October. He’s participated in just over half of the Flyers’ fights this season. When coaches talk about being a tough team to play against, they mean players like MacEwen.

Patrick Brown and Max Willman make up the rest of the current identity line. Tanner Laczynski and Isaac Ratcliffe could contest for that ice time, but it’s all healthy competition.

Tippett the Scales (+)

I joined “High and Wide at Night” with Dave Leonard and co-hosted a PSN Twitter Space with Steph Hicks to discuss a lot of the buzz around Giroux. It was probably a couple of hours (and glasses of wine) later when Giroux became a Florida Panther. The main squeeze that we wanted was the 2023 first-round draft pick with Tippett. After an, in comparison, underwhelming haul, we’re right to feel uneasy.

It’s one game, but Tippett stood out.

He and Kevin Hayes have day one chemistry. It’s exciting because Tippett could boost Hayes to 2019-2020 form. Also, there’s a budding synergy between Tippett and Morgan Frost.

Giroux was always important in the development of Frost. If Tippett can come up in the NHL with Frost, who are comparable in terms of statistics, then maybe the Philadelphia Flyers have something here. Tippett showed off his booming shot, which will be killer in the future with Tyson Foerster. Any reports of the Flyers being underwhelmed by Tippett suddenly seem exaggerated.

Braun, Brassard, and Mayhew

The Anaheim Ducks claimed Gerry Mayhew on Sunday. He had a refreshing stint, capturing lightning in a bottle with the Philadelphia Flyers while the roster was severely damaged. “Mayhewmania” was a fun moment in a dark season. He scored six goals with the Flyers, including one in a win against the Los Angeles Kings.

The New York Rangers sent a 2023 third-round pick to Philadelphia for Justin Braun. Braun is a veteran defenseman, meant to play on the third pair, who played top pair minutes with Ivan Provorov over the last two seasons. Fletcher wanted a second-round pick, but no team was willing to meet the price. He will give balance to the back end of the Rangers’ defense.

Most recently, the Edmonton Oilers sent a 2023 fourth-round pick to the Flyers for Derick Brassard. It’ll be the tenth team he’s played for in his NHL career; a true journeyman. Settling for a fourth-round pick is okay considering that Brassard played four games over four months earlier this season (November 23rd, 2021, at TBL; December 8th, 2021, at NJD; January 6th, 2022, vs. PIT; February 9th, 2022, vs. DET.) He did thrive with Farabee and Cam Atkinson, however.

(Photo by Kyle Ross/Icon Sportswire)