What a steal for the Florida Panthers.
The Cats acquired long-time Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux on Saturday, and they practically stole him from his former club. Philly will retain half of the veteran’s remaining salary, plus send a few other assets to the Panthers.
In return, Florida gave up only two draft picks, both of which were high picks, as they should be. Forward Owen Tippett will also make his way to the City of Brotherly Love.
Maybe I’m missing something, as I will not pretend to be an expert on the players that Philadelphia added to Giroux in the exchange. Perhaps I’m also undervaluing the former first-round pick, Tippett.
Still, I can’t help but feel like this is an absolute steal for the Panthers. Yes, Giroux is scheduled to become a free agent at the conclusion of the season, but he is a 15-year veteran of the NHL and was the captain of the Flyers. How is this all Philly was able to get back?
The Panthers are obvious winners in the Giroux trade.
Giroux’s impact does not need to be reiterated, as it has been well-documented in the lead-up to this deal. He has played 1,000 games, scored 900 points, played in the Stanley Cup Final, served as a captain, and that only scratches the surface.
The Flyers have been terrible this season, and the team has been trending toward a rebuild for a while thanks to its constant underachievement. This move signals the start of the rebuild more than anything Philadelphia has done or could do, yet like the on-ice product, the trade is underwhelming.
In the last few days alone, we have seen several players across the league get traded in exchange for multiple picks, including the deal that the Panthers made to add Ben Chiarot. That made me believe that Giroux would fetch a handsome return for the struggling Flyers.
Instead, they get no draft picks in the upcoming draft, and the first-round pick that they acquired may not be theirs until 2025. For a team that needs to rebuild now, I don’t see those picks as a win, nor do I see them as appropriate value.
As far as Tippett is concerned, he was the tenth overall pick by the Panthers in the 2017 NHL Draft, so there is great upside. However, he has played only 94 games with Florida, racking up 14 goals and 19 assists for 33 points and a minus-nine rating.
If the Flyers can get something out of him that the Panthers could not, then maybe this trade looks a little better. If he turns out to be a player that can’t maintain a lineup spot, as when the case in Florida, this deal will be a total bust in Philadelphia.
With Giroux having a no-move clause, his trade destination was largely up to him. As a result, I suppose that I shouldn’t be surprised that this is the return for Philly when the team’s hands were somewhat tied.
Nevertheless, I would make this deal ten times out of ten if I’m the Florida Panthers, and this is a great trade to help put them over the top in the Eastern Conference.
It’s a great day in the Panthers organization, as Claude Giroux is now a member of the team. His first chance to take the ice with his new club will be Thursday when it takes on the Montreal Canadiens.