As the 2021 offseason is on the horizon, Flyers fans are at a boiling point. As the angry mob forms outside the Wells Fargo Center, even the most vocal fans that are demanding change typically put an asterisk next to their demands that says “TRADE EVERYONE… *except Claude Giroux.” Well for the first time, the Captain’s name has appeared in trade rumors with his hometown Ottawa Senators and the concept is a bit baffling.
This is one of those rumors that doesn’t seem to have a clear origin. Giroux’s name has appeared in Sens’ social media trade rumors quite a bit lately, but it doesn’t seem to be anything more than just rumors that fans blew out of proportion. Ian Mendes ran with the idea last week in a piece for The Athletic which only further sparked the conversation.
For those that don’t know, or who have never watched a Flyers/Senators game where they cram the same fact down our throats a dozen times a game, Claude Giroux is from Hearst, Ontario, just down the road from Ottawa. He and his wife are both from the area and have noted in the past they plan on moving back to the area once Giroux retires.
Other than his hometown connection to Ottawa, is there reason for there to be smoke surrounding these rumors?
From the Senators’ perspective, they are definitely looking for a player to lead their young group and help them get to the next level. While Giroux is on the back end of his career, he proved during the 2021 campaign that he can still produce at a top level, and when he’d be insulated by some of the top young stars in the game, there’s no reason to think he doesn’t have a few more good years in the tank.
For the Flyers, They’re at an interesting crossroads. The years of rebuilding under previous GM Ron Hextall hasn’t amounted to much success and now Fletcher has no choice but to bring in some outside help to try and right the listless ship. Trading some of the veteran players for young guns is always an option, and Giroux is one of the few vets that the Flyers possess that has a high trade value.
The problem dwindles down to what a fair trade for Giroux ultimately looks like? The Senators are a very young, talented team with plenty of kids in their early 20’s that could peak the interest of the Flyers. That being said, Giroux, who will turn 34 in January, is in the last year of his current deal that pays him $8.2 million a season. The age and lack of contract certainty may ding his trade value. It may be his hometown team, but if the Senators still have the next few seasons committed to a rebuild, does Giroux want to waste the dying days of his career on a team not quite ready to strike yet?
The Senators are a team with a very bright future, though they’re still working through the kinks of young players making the NHL on a full-time basis. Ultimately, that’s where the issues stem from. The Flyers would want a sure-thing young player who is already an NHL regular in return for Giroux. Think Brady Tkachuk or Tim Stutzle. Though from a Senators perspective they’d be acquiring Giroux to insulate and mentor their young players. So trading a young star for Giroux just doesn’t make any sense. But for the Flyers, it’s a price that would need to be had. If they were to snag someone along the lines of Erik Brannstrom, who has all the potential in the world but hasn’t made the NHL on a full-time basis yet, the Flyers organization would be trading one of the greatest Flyers of all time for essentially a gamble. And based on how unlucky the Flyers have been with prospects hitting their ceilings, it’s a gamble that just isn’t worth it.
This trade rumor seems like nothing more than wild speculation from a fanbase with a hometown tie in. How long have Flyers fans heard rumors regarding Johnny Gaudreau or Bobby Ryan, trades that don’t make much sense but the South Jersey link will keep their names attached to Philly for the rest of their careers. If the Senators were a little further along in their rebuild and had a young roster player or two that could be disposable in a trade for a player of Giroux’s caliber, maybe there’d be a leg to stand on here. In the meantime, it’s probably best to not get too worked up about Giroux getting traded. There’s a good chance Captain Claude isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: NHL.com