Claude Giroux will make Panthers debut against the Canadiens
Claude Giroux is set to play his first game for the Florida Panthers after 15 years in Philadelphia.
The star forward is among three trade acquisitions set to make their debuts for the Florida Panthers on Thursday night against the host Montreal Canadiens.
The Panthers acquired Giroux from the Philadelphia Flyers prior to the NHL trade deadline on Monday. They also picked up defensemen Ben Chiarot and Robert Hagg from the Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres, respectively.
Claude Giroux will make Panthers Debut
Giroux was a first-round pick in 2006 and had been the longest-tenured captain in Flyers history. He led the Flyers in points seven times, and he finished top-three in the league in 2012, 2014 and 2018.
Giroux had spent his entire 15 year, 1000 game career with Philadelphia up until this point.
“It’s just something I’ve never done before so it’s a little nerve-wracking but I’m very excited,” Giroux said via NHL.com.
Florida, which leads the NHL in most goals scored, figures to be even more dangerous with Giroux. The 34-year-old was placed on the top line with Aleksander Barkov and the No. 1 power-play unit in Tuesday’s practice.
“Everyone is excited,” Barkov said. “(Giroux) is a great player. He did a lot in Philly.”
Giroux is also charged up and ready to go with his new high-flying line mates.
“Those guys are fast players,” Giroux said. “Barkov can do pretty much anything you want a player to do so I’m going to try to fit in the line, try to bring some playmaking and go to the net and just have fun out there.”
New Panthers set to make debuts
Chiarot, 30, is considered the second-biggest move made by the Panthers at the deadline, and he has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in his past nine games. The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder led Montreal in ice time during the playoffs as the Canadiens made an improbable run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.
Hagg, 27, was Philadelphia’s second-round pick in the 2013 NHL, and he knows Giroux well since he only left the Flyers after last season. Hagg collected 13 goals and 34 assists to go along with a plus-13 rating during his time in Philadelphia.
“We’ll welcome them really well,” Barkov said. “We have great guys (already on the roster), on and off the ice.”
Full Panthers vs Canadiens matchup here.
-Field Level Media contributed to this report