Florida Panthers acquire Claude Giroux

Florida Panthers acquire Claude Giroux

Claude Giroux was selected with the 22nd overall pick in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers and the veteran had spent his entire career with the franchise. That is until the club announced on Saturday that they had traded their captain to the Florida Panthers in exchange for forward Owen Tippett, a first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft or 2025 NHL Draft, and a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft. Florida also received forward prospects Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov, and a fifth-round pick in the 2024 draft.

It had been well known that the Flyers were looking to move the 34-year-old in order to acquire assets that could help them during their rebuild, which is exactly what transpired on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers obtain a top player who immediately helps them with their Stanley Cup push, while the Flyers continue to build for the future.

“Claude has been one of the most complete talents in the National Hockey League for over a decade,” Panthers general manager Bill Zito said, via NHL.com. “He has demonstrated his elite leadership and work ethic during his tenure in Philadelphia and we are thrilled to be able to welcome a player of his caliber to our lineup. Additionally, we are excited to receive Connor and German into our Panthers pipeline and look forward to their growth within our system.”

 While Giroux was never able to lead the Flyers to a Stanley Cup during his time with the franchise, he was named an NHL All-Star a total of seven times and was presented the Saku Koivu Award in 2018 for being the league’s comeback player of the year. He also won a World Championship with Canada in 2015 and a World Cup of Hockey in 2016.

“Any day that you trade your captain is a tough day, and with how much Claude has meant to this organization and how he has represented himself for 15 years, makes it all that more difficult to say goodbye,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher remarked. “Claude is one of the best players to ever wear a Flyer uniform.”

The Panthers find themselves atop the competitive Atlantic Division that features back-to-back Stanley Cup champions the Tampa Bay Lightning. The move to trade for Giroux is a clear signal of intent that they believe their time is now.

“What we have going on, they all want to be part of,” Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette commented. “That’s really special for this whole organization that people outside of Florida think that. And again, for those guys, what they’ve done, they’ve created this culture. It’s been fun to be a part of it.”

The Panthers have never won a Stanley Cup, but they did reach the final one time in 1996. However, they have built a squad full of quality that can compete with anybody in the NHL. The addition of Giroux provides them with another experienced superstar who is desperate to win the league’s most prestigious prize.

“He’s a smart guy,” Fletcher said. “He’s obviously been able to make a lot of money in his career, but he wants to win.”