The Ottawa Senators are bringing Claude Giroux home after signing the veteran forward to a three-year deal carrying an annual average value (AAV) of $6.5 million in free agency.
Giroux is coming off an 8-year deal with an $8.275 AAV. He signed the contract with the Philadelphia Flyers, the team he spent the first 15 years of his prolific career with. In 2013, he was named the 19th captain in franchise history, a role he held until he was traded to the Florida Panthers prior to last season’s trade deadline.
With the Panthers, the 34-year-old put up 23 points in 18 regular season games to help them win the President’s Trophy and put themselves in a position to make a deep playoff run. Unfortunately, the Stanley Cup still alludes Giroux and he now has a new opportunity with the XX. He was open to staying with the Panthers, but Florida’s salary cap restraints made it a challenge to get a new deal done which means that he hit the free agent market for the first time just a few months after being traded for the first time in his career.
A Veteran Presence
Giroux still has a lot to offer. In addition to being a top-six centre who can win faceoffs, contribute to the power play, and produce offensively, he also provides a great deal of leadership. He’s a pass-first player with great vision and creativity who makes his linemates better. He can also still play an effective two-way game.
He brings over 1,000 games of NHL experience to the table and 923 points during that span. He’s been named to the All-Star Game on seven occasions and his best season came in 2017-18 when he posted 34 goals and 102 points in 82 games. He’s produced 85 points or more in a season three times.
Giroux ranks second in Flyers history in points, assists, and games played, and is the franchise’s all-time leader in overtime goals.
How Giroux Will Fit In
This new contract means that Giroux is coming home. Born in Hearst, Ontario, he played his junior hockey in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey (QMJHL) with the Gatineau Olympiques and achieved three seasons of over 100 points during his time there.
Related: 2022 NHL Free Agent Signing Tracker
Giroux will be a great fit with the Senators and their talented young core. They are a team on the rise and he will help them take that next step towards becoming a contender. He can easily slot in as Ottawa’s no. 1 centre, allowing Josh Norris to move down to the second-line centre role and potentially let former no. 3 overall pick Tim Stützle go back to his natural position on the wing.
Giroux’s addition continues a busy and successful offseason for Senators general manager Pierre Dorion who has also acquired Alex DeBrincat and Cam Talbot this summer. He also moved Matt Murray’s contract and appears to be in the market for a top-four defenceman as he continues to shape Ottawa into a legitimate playoff team.
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