Claude Giroux tells Panthers: ‘I’m here to win’

claude giroux
Mar 17, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) acknowledges the crowd after playing in his 1000th game for the Flyers in win against the Nashville Predators during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers traded away forward Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers last Saturday night, bidding farewell to their 34-year-old captain who just days days before played his 1,000th game with the franchise.

The Panthers sent forward Owen Tippett, a conditional 2024 first-round pick and a third-rounder in 2023 to Philadelphia. If Florida’s first-round pick in 2024 lands in the top 10, then the Flyers will get the Panthers’ first-round pick in 2025.

The Panthers also receive 23-year-olds Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov in the deal, along with the Flyers’ fifth-round pick in 2024.

“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 said. “Claude is one of the best players to ever wear a Flyer uniform.”

Claude Giroux ready to win

claude giroux
Mar 17, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) acknowledges the crowd after playing in his 1000th game for the Flyers in win against the Nashville Predators during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

In his 15th season with Philadelphia, Giroux joined legend Bobby Clarke as the only Flyers to play 1,000 games for the franchise. He reached that milestone during a comeback 5-4 home win over Nashville last Thursday.

Giroux arrived in Flordia and meant with the press to discuss how he came to his decision.

“I started thinking, where could I go, what would be a good fit for me to go and win a Cup,” Giroux said. “I was just looking around the teams and there was something about Florida.”

At practice on Tuesday, Giroux lined up on the right wing with Aleksander Barkov. The two are expected to combine as one of the NHL’s top lines.

“That’s the reason I’m here,” Giroux explained. “I’m here to win. I’m here to help the team win. That’s the reason why this trade happened. This team has a great chance to go far in the playoffs. Obviously, there’s a lot of great teams in the East, but coming to this team, I think I can help this team. And it’s time to go to work.”

Giroux has 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 57 games this season. He has 900 points (291 goals, 609 assists) for his career and was the longest-tenured athlete among Philadelphia’s four major professional sports teams until the trade.

“He’s a top faceoff guy in the league, and he’s a right-handed shot, and he kills penalties, and he’s a power play guy,” Panthers GM Bill Zito said of his new acquisition. “We’re checking boxes off as we go through. Where other teams may be looking to acquire a few players, we’re getting it all in one.”

–Field Level Media contributed to this report