After spending the first 15 years of his career with the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux was dealt to the Florida Panthers ahead of the trade deadline in March.
He’s now an unrestricted free agent.
Giroux supplied three goals and 20 assists across 18 regular-season games for Florida before adding another three tallies and five helpers in 10 playoff contests.
The 34-year-old Canadian is likely looking to sign with a contender, and while he’s definitely past his best offensive prime, Giroux is still one of the top players in this year’s UFA class.
Giroux might not be chasing a big-ticket salary, either. He’s earned an estimated $78 million during his career, according to Cap Friendly, after all.
Here are 3 potential landing spots for Giroux this summer.
New York Rangers
Aside from re-signing center Ryan Strome and restricted free agent winger Kaapo Kakko, the Blueshirts don’t have a busy offseason ahead, and Giroux’s experience would be a valuable addition.
The Rangers punched their way to the Eastern Conference Finals this spring, and goaltender Igor Shesterkin won the Vezina Trophy.
Additionally, New York has a nice collection of young, yet proven blueliners.
Up front, wingers Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider pair nicely with star center Mika Zibanejad to fuel the offense. Additionally, youngsters Kakko, center Filip Chytil, and winger Alexis Lafreniere are all promising young talents.
Giroux would project to settle in as a middle-six winger with faceoff expertise and play more of a complementary role.
However, as his stat line with the Panthers confirmed, he can still contribute plenty of offense, including with the man advantage.
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Before being dealt to Florida, it was widely speculated that Giroux could land with the Avs, so perhaps the conversation picks up again this summer.
It’s an obvious fit for both team and player, and as noted, Giroux might be willing to help on his end by taking a team-friendly contract to take a legitimate run at winning the Stanley Cup.
Re-signing or replacing netminder Darcy Kuemper will also be paramount this summer, and it might be the first order of business for the Avs.
The Avs could potentially also lose center Nazem Kadri, and wingers Valeri Nichushkin and Andre Burakovsky to free agency, so there are secondary roles likely to be available.
Colorado does have enough salary-cap room to be selective about who they bring back and who they bring in, which is going to be important if Giroux is going to sign with the Avs.
St. Louis Blues
If Giroux is interested in a short-term deal, the Blues make sense.
St. Louis will have decisions to make after the 2022-23 season, as center Robert Thomas and winger Jordan Kyrou will be restricted free agents and eyeing significant pay raises.
In the meantime, though, the Blues have the cap space to offer Giroux a nice salary.
Additionally, while not a top-tier Stanley Cup contender, St. Louis has a deep roster and did win it all four years ago while also making the playoffs 10 of the past 11 seasons.
There might also be an opportunity for Giroux to carve out a go-to offensive role with the Blues, which might not be the case with other contenders.