I am going to through this out there but I am going to need help from Geoff or whoever is good with the stats and resources. I am for moving Giroux to RW and have been all season. I think that was the plan when we drafted Claude was there he would be our top 2 line winger to go along Danny, Richie, and Carter. Injuries to Danny force him to play center and it worked okay but he could never get away from it. Here is my logic.
- Giroux's natural position is wing. 321 pts in 187 games in Juniors as a RW.
- Danny B. at center is better than Giroux at center. Just look at this playoffs was Danny was back in the middle he and his linemates were dynamic.
- Carter at center is better than Carter at wing.
I think everyone would agree that those about statements are true. Maybe Carter can learn the wing in the offseason with a full training camp to build some chemistry, but Carter was our best forward this season despite playing along side a slumping Hartnell and a out of position Briere.
Also, Leino and Giroux have very similar skill sets and Leino works well on the wing.
Here is where I need some help. Giroux put up 21 pts in the playoffs 10 G and 11 A. Where was he playing when he produced? 1/3 of those pts were on the PP were he mostly does not play Center he plays along the wall as a winger. His OT goal in the finals was scored with Briere on the ice winning the faceoff, again Giroux not playing Center. Someone can fill in the rest with the fancy stats to see for sure. But I think most his points were scored while he was playing on the wing with the more talented players.
I agree Giroux is more noticeable at center on the 3rd line, but i think looks can be deceiving. He dazzles and dances through guys which looks great but most of the time nothing came of it. Partially because he was playing with Asham, Carcillo or JVR and gets keyed on by the defense. However when on the wing with the better players he got more room to work and even though he didn't dazzle us with moves he hit guys with Forsberg esque passes and they scored. Once again I could be totally wrong here and feel free to prove me wrong.
In the OT Game 4 Boston win his 2 Assists were to Briere and Hartnell.
In the 5 - 3 Game 4 Chicago game his late 1st period goal was assisted by Hartnell.
He assisted Mike Richards on a SHG in the Game 6 against MTL.
The JVR-Giroux-Asham line had a few good games but in my opinion Giroux was at his best when spotted on the top 2 lines. I could be wrong of course but that was just my observation.
I propose a line of Giroux - Carter - JVR for next season. If Carter can not return his full value in trade I think we can make this work. I rather give it a shot than give away Carter lose even more goal scoring. Remember the regular season we were plagued by inconsistent offense. You need 3 scoring lines to win is this league and to keep up with the Caps and Pens and now the Blackhawks.