The calendar has turned to March and not a lot has changed for the Philadelphia Flyers. They’re fresh off a loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night and the trade deadline is now less than three weeks away.
With the Flyers completely out of the playoff picture and their sights set on next season and beyond, there are decisions that are going to be made. A lot of those decisions rest in the hands of general manager Chuck Fletcher and the front office. However, one of the most important decisions is in the hands of the man that has put the Flyers on his back for more than a decade: Claude Giroux.
Giroux is in the last year of his contract and his name has been in trade rumors for a few months at this point. The Flyers are only sinking further down in the standings and Giroux deserves a chance to chase a Stanley Cup with a contender.
Having said that, it’s not an easy decision for Giroux. In a vacuum, Giroux waiving his no-movement clause is a no-brainer. He’s a hockey player and wants to win a Cup. However, there are a lot of different factors that could be on Giroux’s mind.
On Tuesday night’s Insider Trading, Pierre LeBrun gave an update on what he knows surrounding the Giroux situation.
“We’re less than three weeks out and what I can tell you is that Claude Giroux still hasn’t gone to the Flyers and said ‘OK, I’m ready. I’m ready to go.’ That still hasn’t happened which tells you how difficult and emotional this decision is for Claude Giroux,” LeBrun said.
OK, so this update is a bit of a non-update to start. However, any trade talk is news as the deadline nears.
LeBrun touched on how “difficult and emotional” this is for Giroux. He was drafted by the Flyers, is among the franchise leaders in many categories, and has his roots in the Philadelphia area. But the prospect of chasing a Cup could win out.
As the trade deadline inches closer, the heat will be on. LeBrun continued on Giroux.
“I think sometime next week things will start escalating. In the meantime, the Flyers have told some teams that called is this: If Claude Giroux is ready to move, you’re talking about a player that arguably could be the most-impactful rental of this year’s trade deadline. So there’s a price attached to that,” he said.
It’s no surprise that teams have called asking about Giroux, even with his no-movement clause. Forget Giroux “arguably” being the most-impactful rental. Giroux, if moved, is the most-impactful rental. He plays in all situations and his motor never stops. The Flyers are completely out of a game (or season) and Giroux still gives his all and makes impressive plays seemingly every night.
LeBrun then speculated what the asking price could be for the Flyers captain.
“If Nick Foligno as a rental went for a first [round pick] and a fourth a year ago at the deadline, then Claude Giroux’s looking at a triple-asset package for sure for the Flyers. A first, a young player, and a prospect; or certainly at least two assets of higher quality. It’s a high price to get in on Claude Giroux,” LeBrun concluded.
That Foligno trade package has been brought up a few times in regard to Giroux.
Foligno was the Blue Jackets captain but was on the downside of his career –– by far. He had just 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in 42 games last season before being traded. The Leafs still gave up first- and fourth-round picks, possibly largely for Folgino’s intangibles rather than his on-ice performance. Foligno is also strictly a left winger.
If you look at that Foligno package and compare Giroux to the former Blue Jacket, you have to think that he’ll get a first, fourth, and then some. Giroux had 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) in 49 games heading into Tuesday night. He also plays in all situations and can line up at wing or at center, where he’s still a master in the faceoff circle. Giroux has a 61.8% faceoff rate (506 of 819) this season.
Given the Flyers’ supposed plan to retool rather than rebuild, they may be looking for an NHL-ready prospect (or a young player with some NHL experience) along with a prospect and draft pick. They could look for a pick in 2023 rather than 2022 due to the depth of the draft as well.
In an ideal world, the Flyers would be able to trade Giroux at the deadline for a hefty package and re-sign him in the offseason. But the world is far from ideal. It’s going to be an interesting few weeks leading up to the trade deadline for Claude Giroux and the Flyers.