Claude Giroux Contract Inked with Ottawa Senators

Claude Giroux contract
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The Ottawa Senators signed unrestricted free agent centre Claude Giroux to a three-year contract worth $19.5million, or $6.5 million per season. This contract carries him through the 2024-25 season. It’s a homecoming for Giroux since he’s from nearby Hearst, Ontario.

NHL free agent frenzy

Claude Giroux Signed Contract, Leaves Florida

Over his 15-year NHL career, Giroux played for both the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers. The Flyers drafted him back in 2006 with their first round, 22nd overall selection. In the years since he amassed 294 goals and 629 assists for 923 career points in 1018 career games.

Last season Giroux posted 21 goals and 44 assists for 65 points in 75 games. He left Philadelphia for the first time in his NHL career at the trade deadline, waiving his no-move clause. He did so because the Florida Panthers wanted the longtime Flyers captain for a Stanley Cup run. Unfortunately for both parties, that run ended abruptly, with a four-game sweep from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round.

What This Means for the Future

Even though Giroux didn’t capture a Cup, his stint in Florida could hardly be seen as a failure. In his 18 regular-season games with the Panthers, he potted 23 points. That remains his first career line above a point-per-game scoring pace since 2018-19. He also scored eight points in the Panthers’ ten postseason contests, including a fantastic assist on the series-clinching Game 6 Carter Verhaeghe‘s overtime goal in the opening round of the postseason.

That being said, if he wanted to stay in Florida, he would’ve had to take a major pay cut. He just wrapped an eight-year deal with an AAV of $8.275 million. Due to the pay hike that kicks in next year for Aleksander Barkov, Florida possessed under $4 million in cap space entering free agency this summer. That figure is incredibly small, especially considering all the players that came off their books. Besides Giroux, Noel Acciari, Maxim Mamin, Mason Marchment, Joe Thornton, Ben Chiarot, Robert Hagg, Marcus Nutivaara, and Petteri Lindbohm are all UFAs. Plus, Eetu Luostarinen and Lucas Carlsson are RFAs in need of new contracts.

So, Florida is bleeding players. With no first-round selections through 2024 either, their cupboards look a little bare at the moment. They went all-in, aggressively, over the past couple of seasons. Yes, they won their first playoff series in 26 years. But no, they did not win a Stanley Cup. Giroux continues his Cup chase elsewhere, while Florida must turn inwards to their prospect pipeline to fill all their roster gaps.

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