The trade deadline speculation is already in full swing, especially if you’re a fan of one of the Eastern Conference’s non-playoff teams. The Philadelphia Flyers (15-24-9) are clearly one of those teams. Their season has been beyond derailed by injury, with loss streaks meeting or topping ten games twice. Chuck Fletcher absolutely has to, at this point, be thinking about a re-tooling of the lineup.
His biggest trade asset is Claude Giroux. Giroux is in his last year of an eight-year deal that has seen him pull in $8,275,000 per season. He has a no-movement clause because clearly, why would the team’s captain and cornerstone want to leave?
In a press conference today, Giroux doesn’t sound like he wants to leave Philadelphia, but he also knows that the writing is on the wall as far as the club is concerned. If he wants a Stanley Cup, it won’t be with Philadelphia.
Giroux said “the organization here has been great for me for the last 14 years. They treated me the right away. I had a chance to play with a lot of great players and had great coaches. It’s an honor to have been a Flyer this long.”
That’s a lot of past-tense verbiage for someone still with a team.
Giroux is still a bankable star and would be a valuable rental for another team. While this isn’t how Flyers fans would want the reigning All-Star Game MVP to leave, it would be the cherry on top of a lost season. The team would be losing their team leader in points (37) and assists (21), and their second place goal scorer (16). For a Cup contender, he’d be catch, especially with his leadership acumen. Rumors are tying Giroux to the Avalanche primarily, but the Minnesota Wild are one of two other teams that Giroux would be willing to waive his NMC to head to. The other team mentioned in the mix? The Blues.
It’s all well and good for Giroux to want to come to St. Louis - thanks for the compliment! - but is there a need for him here?
Giroux, if he is acquired by Doug Armstrong, would rank third in goals behind Vladimir Tarasenko and Jordan Kyrou; fourth in points behind Tarasenko, Kyrou, and Pavel Buchnevich; and sixth in assists. You can’t deny he’d punch up the offense, but if there’s one area that the Blues don’t need help in, it’s offense.
The Blues would probably have to send a pretty penny back to the Flyers in exchange, have to clear some space, and miss out on an opportunity to upgrade the defense if need be. It’s great for the Blues to be a desired destination for one of the leagues older top rental talents, but deals have to work for both sides. Armstrong will make the best deal that he thinks will work for the Blues, and it would be surprising if Giroux is that deal.