Looking at Realistic Destinations for a Claude Giroux Trade

Claude Giroux trade

While the Philadelphia Flyers have always spent to the NHL salary cap and attempted to field a competitive team year in and year out, something unthinkable has happened. The captain and mainstay of the team, Claude Giroux is all but destined to be traded by the March 21, 2022 trade deadline. Giroux holds all the cards with his no-move clause, but it could prove beneficial to both the player and organization if a trade were to be made.

NHL Insider Frank Seravalli first reported that Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher stated everything is on the table. With the way the season has progressed, Flyers are grasping for answers. Any team with aspirations of a Stanley Cup win this post-season would be thrilled to add Giroux. The question remains though…where would Giroux prefer to go and what could GM Fletcher gain in return for trading his star center.

Realistic Trade Spots for Philadelphia Flyers Captain Claude Giroux

Giroux would be more than likely to slot into a second-line center or winger role and take a large number of faceoffs. With quarterbacking the Flyers’ powerplay for more than a decade, Giroux would also strengthen any team’s powerplay. Giroux also ranks third in faceoff percentage this season, behind only John Tavares and Patrice Bergeron. It’s been proven Giroux has been one of the more consistent forwards over the past decade. Any team that adds the Flyer captain will immediately be put into the conversation of cup favourite. The ask by Fletcher to acquire Giroux has been rumoured to be a 1st round pick, a top prospect, and a roster player.

The Trade Contenders

Colorado Avalanche

For obvious reasons, Giroux in blue and burgundy would be a great match. Giroux would slot in seamlessly playing behind Nathan MacKinnon and quarterbacking the 2nd powerplay unit. The Colorado Avalanche, who already have the highest goals/games played and 5th best powerplay could easily strengthen their case of being the team to beat if the trade were to be made.

Of course, all this would be for not if the Avalanche don’t have the best offer for Fletcher. Many Flyers fans are keen on getting the blossoming rookie, Alex Newhook in orange and black. On the other hand, Avalanche GM Joe Sakic is said to not want him included. Justin Barron is an interesting option for the Flyers. With their dwindling prospect pool, the Flyers would benefit by adding Barron to the team. Presently, there is no right-handed defenseman in the pipeline except for Wyatte Wylie. Tyson Jost is a curious case of an underperforming younger player. Would Sakic be keen to move out Jost to strengthen the offer, or would a roster player on an expiring deal work?

Potential Offer: Claude Giroux (50% retained salary) for 2022 1st round pick, Justin Barron & Ryan Murray (2022 UFA)

Minnesota Wild

Ahhh yes, Chuck Fletcher’s old team. A trade with Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin would make sense in a multitude of ways. Giroux playing next to Kirill Kaprizov would be must-see TV! As such, the 34-year old Flyer captain would be a great fit in Minnesota with the obvious gap at centre.

The Wild could be contenders this year with the addition, but would it prove too costly to acquire Giroux? Currently, the Minnesota Wild have the second-highest goals for/60 without a top-line center. Sure, Ryan Hartman has had a breakout season, but the need to bolster the middle of the ice is evident. For Fletcher’s ask, Matthew Boldy has to be high on the Flyers list. Calen Addison, another right-handed defenseman the Flyers are lacking, could be a B-tier prospect to grab. If Addison were to be the main piece, a roster player would have to be more than just a stopgap for salary. Matt Dumba is an intriguing thought, but the Flyers would need to compete next year for it to make sense.

With the high price of Giroux, the Wild might not be willing to give up what other teams are. The placement of the Wild gives Guerin pause for concern if this is the year to go all-in on.

Potential Offer: Claude Giroux (50% retained salary) & 2024 2nd round pick for Matthew Boldy, Calen Addison & Victor Rask (2022 UFA)

Boston Bruins

Name a more dynamic duo: the Boston Bruins and being in “win now” mode. With David Krejci all but a distant memory, Boston is still trying to find answers Giroux could provide. Having two of the top three faceoff winners in the league certainly would help. As with the Avalanche, Giroux would be slotted in as a second-line center. With the amount of playoff experience the Bruins have, adding in Giroux could push them over the top.

The problem with the constant “win now” mode the Bruins have shown is the lack of top-end prospects and draft picks. Jack Studnicka seems to be the only standout the Flyers may ask for. Fabian Lysell is a potential option, but it’s highly unlikely the Bruins would part ways with their most recent first round pick. Boston would have to make another move or two to make the books work, but the addition would be welcome.

Potential Offer: Claude Giroux (50% retained salary) for 2022 1st round pick & Jack Studnicka

Toronto Maple Leafs

This could very well be an even better dynamic duo: the Toronto Maple Leafs and trade rumours. Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has always been actively searching for what makes the Leafs tick. Last year at the trade deadline, Dubas added in Nick Foligno. The Foligno experiment did not work, and yet again, the Leafs lost in game 7 of the first round in the playoffs. Dubas could be even keener on adding top-end talent, or he could have learned his lesson with Foligno.

Looking at the Leafs who are always up against the cap, need to figure out how to make it work if a trade were to be made. Giroux would be either a second-line winger option or third-line center if the lineup remains intact after his arrival to Toronto. Given this, how much does Dubas give up for a potential third-line option?

19-year old Topi Niemela does sound like an intriguing fit with the Flyers. However, with the lack of depth the Leafs have for defensemen, it’s hard to see Dubas trading him. Pontus Holmberg, currently playing in the SHL, nearly has 1 point per game as a 22-year old. He could potentially make the jump to the NHL next year given his progression. A roster player does need to come with Holmberg if he were to be the main piece in the trade. Pierre Engvall and Ondrej Kase are both on expiring contracts and will be restricted free agents come July.

Potential Offer: Claude Giroux (50% retained salary) for 2022 1st round pick, Pontus Holmberg & Pierre Engvall

The Decision Between Chasing a Cup or Loyalty

Whichever decision is made, Claude Giroux is directly at the helm. Whether it be to chase a cup or be loyal to a fault, the conundrum is gripping. GM Chuck Fletcher has stated all cards are on the table, but Philadelphia Flyers governor Dave Scott seemed to like where the team was at regarding a core. Many, if not all Philadelphia Flyers fans wouldn’t fault Giroux if he were to chase a cup this year. Pending his return signing in the off-season, he’d be regarded as a great leader who got the Flyers more toys to play with.

If Giroux chooses to chase the cup, it means the Philadelphia Flyers season will be over. Nevertheless, it also allows them to judge their talent levels without the star captain and start tinkering once the off-season begins. It seems the only negative for the Giroux departure would be a lost season for the Flyers. The only issue with that… the season has already been lost.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images