As the Philadelphia Flyers continue through what has been a rough 2021-22 NHL season, they’re struggling to stay in the playoff picture thanks to a ten-game losing streak. If the Flyers are not within the wildcard race by the time the trade deadline rolls around in late March, the Flyers are going to have to make some difficult decisions when it comes to being sellers, that includes the fate of captain Claude Giroux, whose contract will expire at the end of the season. If Giroux does indeed find himself on the trade block, where does he have the best chance of ending up?
Number 5: Edmonton Oilers
The Oilers are tight on cap space, but there are a couple potentially enticing young players on the team that could peak the interest of the Flyers in a trade scenario. Jesse Puljujarvi and Kailer Yamamoto, both 23 years old, both making $1.175 million, and are on expiring contracts and restricted free agents, could be interesting returns for the Flyers, as it may be difficult for the Oilers to re-sign them this summer. Neither player may be star-caliber, but they’re young enough to serve a building blocks in a potential rebuild in Philly.
potential returns: Jesse Puljujarvi, Kailer Yamamoto, Philip Broberg
Number 4: Minnesota Wild
In what may be the ultimate irony, Chuck Fletcher may have to deal his star player to the organization he once ran, who is gearing up for a playoff run of their own. The Wild, who may have to strike this season because they’ve got $12-$14 million tied up in dead space over the next three seasons in the Parise and Suter buyouts, could use a boost to the offense. Imagine Claude Giroux setting up Kirill Kaprizov? The Wild do have a few notable prospects in their development system that could be decent returns for the Flyers.
Potential returns: Marco Rossi, Matthew Boldy
Number 3: Carolina Hurricanes
Would the Flyers trade Giroux to a divisional rival? It may be unlikely, but the Hurricanes could be one piece away from a serious Cup run and someone with the talent of Claude Giroux would fit in nicely with their young top offensive players. The Canes may not be as deep in the prospect pool as they once were, but still have a few former first round picks hanging around that could be good trade chips when it comes to securing a player like Giroux.
Potential returns: Ryan Suzuki, Dominik Bokk, Jack Drury
Number 2: Calgary Flames
Early rumors have the Flames as a potential team doing their due diligence when it comes to adding Giroux. The main hurdle for Calgary would be their cap space, which they’ve got very little of. A trade with Calgary would probably be a cap dump for the Flames to make the money work, and a return of draft picks for the Flyers. The Flames have three picks in the first two rounds this year and all of their picks next season, so there are some intriguing options for a Philly team looking to restock their draft capital shelves.
Potential returns: Andrew Mangiapane, Oliver Kylington
Number 1: Colorado Avalanche
After three straight seasons where they were eliminated in the second round and the salary cap starting to close in, The Avs may be getting antsy for a Cup win. In a perfect world, they probably need more help defensively and in net than at forward, but Giroux may be too enticing to turn down. They’re a team still jam packed with young talent that, much like the Oilers, may have to move because they won’t be able to re-sign. This could be a trade scenario that could also focus around Justin Braun as well. Whatever it takes to get the best return from a team desperate to win could work out well for the Flyers in the long run.
Potential returns: Alex Newhook, Bowen Byram, Shane Bowers
New York Rangers
The question of whether or not they trade Giroux to a divisional rival comes up once again. The Rangers are a young team looking to strike while the iron is hot. It may be too early in their window to go all in, but they’ve got plenty of talent on both the main roster and in their system where they can part with a player/prospect or two and never feel the repercussions. Because the Rangers are public enemy number one in Philly, the Flyers trading Giroux would have to be more than worth it just incase he would re-sign in New York next season.
Potential returns: K’Andre Miller, Brennan Othmann, Zac Jones
The Ducks are a very young, very good team with money to spend. They’re currently projected to have $10.6 million in cap space and currently sit in second place in the Pacific Division. It may be early to consider them true Cup contenders, but with money to burn and no long-term commitment to Giroux, they seem like an ideal team to scoop up the Flyers’ captain if they feel feisty. It’s also a very rich organization when it comes to prospect quality and draft picks. It may be the best fit for both teams.
Potential returns: Sam Steel, Max Comtois, Mason McTavish
This was the hot rumor during the offseason, but considering the Senators are still in the basement of the Atlantic Division, it’s unlikely he ends up there, at least at the trade deadline.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: courierpostonline.com