And we got one of those crucial updates.
“What’s going on right now is that, first of all, there have not been serious trade discussions yet on the Claude Giroux front – still lots of time,” Pierre LeBrun said on TSN’s “Insider Trading” segment Tuesday night. “But Pat Brisson, the agent for Giroux, has the clearance to talk to teams directly and start to put together a shortlist, which, of course, he’ll do with Claude Giroux, if he’s willing to be dealt over the next few weeks. And then that shortlist goes to Chuck Fletcher and Chuck Fletcher has something to work with. Not just one team, but a shortlist of teams so the Flyers can get a decent deal out of this closer to March 21st.”
Giroux has a full No-Move Clause, meaning he gets to decide specifically what teams he wants to go to, and then GM Chuck Fletcher has to hope that he can agree to a deal with the front office on the other side. A little bit of a tricky situation, but he has more than deserved that right to decide the contender he will be with for the next few months (or longer).
This is just the first of many hoops we will have to follow the team and player through. Figuring out what teams will follow maybe a report on those teams—the St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche, Florida Panthers, and Boston Bruins are among the most likely—and then we can see about a potential return. Ah, the trade deadline.
Giroux is in the final year of his contract, a pending unrestricted free agent, and has a current substantial cap hit of $8.275 million. The Flyers will no doubt need to retain some of that financial burden to make a deal with those more cap-strapped teams at the top of the standings.
But don’t expect a deal to happen in the next couple of weeks.
First, Giroux is just on the cusp of playing his 1,000th game for the franchise that drafted him 16 years ago. The 34-year-old is already breaking some Flyers records this season, so to be able to hit that monumental milestone with the club, would be something special and Giroux is set to hit that marker just four days before the trade deadline, on March 17 against the Nashville Predators. To get rid of him before that game, especially for a team that cares so much about those meaningful markers, would be strange. So don’t expect anything to happen soon.
But there is also another reason to just be patient. Since cap hits accumulate daily, the longer the Flyers wait, the less Giroux’s cap hit will be. If the team wants to wait right up until March 21, and retain half of his salary, then he has approximately a $1.8-million deadline cap hit. And just an example, the Avalanche will have about $1.6-million in cap space at the deadline. Huh, woulda look at that.
Waiting just makes everything a little bit smoother for both the team and the player, so we’ll just spend the next month or so getting ready to say goodbye.