NHL Trade Deadline Primer: Finding the right spot for Claude Giroux to chase the Stanley Cup
The 2022 NHL Trade Deadline is Monday, March 21 at 3 p.m. ET. As we get closer to the deadline we will take a look at some individual players who could be on the move. We continue today with Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux.
Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux has been one of the most productive players in the NHL throughout his 15 year career, but he is missing just one thing from his resume. The Stanley Cup.
With the Flyers near the bottom of the NHL standings, Giroux being a pending unrestricted free agent, and wanting to no doubt chase after a championship it seems to only be a matter of when and where, and not if, he gets traded before the NHL trade deadline. There are no shortage of options among the top Stanley Cup contenders.
Giroux has a ton of say in where he ends up given his no-trade clause, so you have to assume he is going to want to be in a situation where he feels there is a strong chance to contend for a championship.
He is still an outstanding top-line player and point producer, entering the week with 40 total points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 51 games. That is pretty much a 28-goal, 64-point pace over 82 games, which is exactly the pace he has scored at for three years now. He would be an outstanding addition to any Stanley Cup contender.
What the return might look like
Giroux having so much control over where he could potentially go, as well as the fact he is a pending unrestricted free agent and would almost certainly be a pure rental for his next team, could hurt a little bit of the Flyers’ leverage in trade talks, but they should still easily be able to get a first-round pick, and probably more. It is not going to be the type of return that greatly accelerates the Flyers’ rebuild, but he is still by far the most tradable asset they have and should bring them a solid return.
The most logical landing spots
• Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins
Colorardo and St. Louis have been reported as potential landing spots and while neither team really needs an offensive upgrade right now, Giroux would definitely add to their scoring potential and make each even more dangerous. While also giving Giroux a legitimate contender to play for.
The Rangers, again, just need somebody beyond their top two lines that can put the puck in the net. No matter how good your goalie is you still need balanced scoring from throughout your lineup to win in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Rangers simply do not have that right now. Giroux would be a strong add.
Boston has always made sense as a possible landing spot for Giroux because he could help fix their second-line center spot that was vacated when David Krejci went overseas to play this season. They have an opening, they have a need, and while they are not getting a lot of attention right now they still have a lot of very important ingredients to be a contender. As long as the goaltending keeps going the way it is with Jeremy Swayman in net as the new starter.
Wild Card team: Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs focus is probably going to be elsewhere, but Giroux would be an intriguing add as he chases his first Cup and the Maple Leafs chase their first Cup in decades. And decades. Toronto is going to do something at the deadline, and given the pressure on them to win it feels like it could be something significant. This would be significant.
Spot I want to see just for fun: Pittsburgh Penguins
This would just be funny. After 15 years of being on opposite sides of one of the NHL’s most intense rivalries, Giroux pursuits his Stanley Cup dream with the Pittsburgh Penguins. There is an obvious connection with Ron Hextall now running the Penguins, and there is a need for another top-six option in Pittsburgh. Giroux’s ability to play on the wing certainly would make him an option. But could you just imagine the reaction in Philadelphia if Giroux (and Jeff Carter. And Ron Hextall) all joining forces together in Pittsburgh to win a Stanley Cup? If you thought Carter, Mike Richards, Justin Williams (and Hextall) winning multiple Stanley Cups together in Los Angeles was frustrating for them, imagine this. Just imagine it. The obvious road block here is these two teams actually making a trade of this magnitude. Back in 2017 they needed to get a third team involved just to trade Mark Streit to Pittsburgh (Philadelphia sent Streit to Tampa Bay, who then sent Streit to Pittsburgh).
NHL Trade Deadline prediction
Giroux is going to get traded somewhere, it is just a matter of where. Colorado or Boston seem like the most logical landing spots with Colorado being the ideal spot for Giroux’s quest to win a championship. He would play a smaller role than he would in Boston, but the odds of winning are significantly higher just based on the overall talent and ability of the Avalanche. The Avalanche do not have a first-round pick this year (traded to Arizona Coyotes for goalie Darcy Kuemper) but a future first-round pick, or a combination of picks and prospects could make up for that. It is not like Colorado’s first-round pick is likely to be very high in the draft anyway.