NHL Rumors: Where will Claude Giroux land?

[sendtonews key=”IF7zHr7L” type=”player”]

Claude Giroux still wants to play for a contender, but the market this summer may not have enough of them for him to choose from come July 13. Even the team he was traded to at the deadline isn’t a lock with their cap issues.

In a recent interview with Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic (subscription required), the 34 year-old said that he’s interested in a return to the Florida Panthers.

“Yeah. I came to Florida to win a Cup,” Giroux said. “Obviously we weren’t able to do that. We’ll see how the next month goes, but excited to see what’s going to happen here.’’

LeBrun notes in his article that sourced indicated GM Bill Zito relayed to Giroux that he’s going to try and bring him back if possible.

According to CapFriendly, Florida is in a tight spot with only $3.9M in space and just 16 players under contract.

NHL Rumors: Claude Giroux

The good news for the Panthers is that Giroux at his age isn’t likely going to be adamant about term. A two to three year contract at the right salary might do the trick.

This past season, the versatile forward posted 65 points in 75 games between the Philadelphia Flyers and Florida Panthers. However, he found renewed life with the Cats picking up 23 points in 18 games after the trade and then added 8 more points in 10 playoff contests.

Giroux just completed an 8-year deal he signed with the Flyers in 2014-15 for $8.275M AAV.

So how much will his next contract be? This is a little harder to gauge because on the open market he’s probably worth close to that. However, if the team is right, Giroux may take considerably less to make it work.

The place he said he wants to stay in has a lot of work to do.

nhl rumors
Mar 26, 2021; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Florida Panthers right wing Claude Giroux (28) skates with the puck in front of Ottawa Senators center Josh Noris (9) in the third period at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Sergei Bobrovsky is entering the fourth season of a seven-year, $70 million contract. That’s a mind-boggling $10M AAV for a goalie.

The 33 year-old backstop posted a 39-7-3 record this season backed by a GAA of 2.67 and a SV% of .913.

According to Elliotte Friedman on his 32 Thoughts Podcast, he mentioned that the Panthers, in desperate need for cap space looked into trading Bobrovsky.

“I suspect that they tried hard to trade him this year, or at least lay the groundwork to do it,” Friedman said. “I don’t know if it’s possible but I’ve heard they really worked on it. They really tried to see if it was possible. And that might just be a function of the salary cap.”

Can the Panthers move this contract? Well here’s the major rub, he has a full no-move clause that becomes a modified no-move in 2024. So they first need Bobrovsky to waive it in order to make a trade.

That’s why the speculation as to where Giroux may end up is starting to pick up.

Where else may Claude Giroux land?

If the criteria for Giroux is to play for a contender, his options will be limited depending on how much he wants to make annually.

Looking at team’s cap situations heading in 2022-23 two contenders seem like viable options.

The Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames both have over $26 million in space. Take that with a grain of salt because each has a lot of players to sign.

However, if Johnny Gaudreau leaves Calgary and Nazem Kadri also signs elsewhere, I could see Giroux as a cheaper replacement in both cities.

Other teams that may be a fit for him are the Dallas Stars, New York Islanders, and Carolina Hurricanes.