Florida Panthers achieves great success in Claude Giroud’s business

On Thursday night, Claude Giroud was celebrated in Philadelphia for playing his 1,000th NHL game with the Flyers. Game 1001 will be with the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers made another big step in their quest for a deep post-season on Saturday as they secured the former Captain Pilots in perhaps the biggest move to be made before Monday’s NHL trade deadline.

The trade was first reported by NHL Insiders Pierre LeBrun (TSN) and Elliotte Friedman (Sportsnet).

The Philadelphia comeback, which includes strength striker Owen Tibbett, is pretty big.

Florida is also giving up the first-round pick in 2024 and the third-round pick in 2023.

The Panthers now dealt their next three selections in the first round for: Sam Reinhart (2022, Buffalo); Ben Shearoot (2023, Montreal) and 2024.

In addition to Giroux, Florida will receive a 2016 first-round pick from German Rubtsov and a 2016 fourth-round pick from Connor Bunnaman. Both are strikers who spent most of their time in the Flyers system, playing for AHL Lehigh Valley. The Panthers will also get a fifth-round pick in 2024.

Philadelphia will retain 50 percent of Giroux’s annual cap of $8.275 million.

Florida also maintains its remaining top prospects such as Maki Samoskevich of the University of Michigan was selected in the first round of 2021 and Grigory Denisenko was selected in the first round of 2018.

Spencer Knight (2019) and Anton Lundell (2020) have never been the subject of commercial discussion.

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Unlike defender Ben Chiarot, who was acquired in a deal with Montreal on Wednesday night, Giroud will be able to join his new teammates once he can catch a flight to Fort Lauderdale.

The Panthers beat Anaheim 3-0 Friday night and returned from the Los Angeles International afterwards, landing in Fort Lauderdale early Saturday morning.

The team has training scheduled for Sunday in Coral Springs and Giroud will likely be there to welcome them.

Chiarot is a Canadian citizen who has been playing for a Canadian team which means he is required to obtain a US work visa. Giroux has one and it will be available right away.

General Manager Bill Zito’s move is another strong commitment to this current team.

Giroux, like Chiarot, is a suspended free agent and is likely to leave at the end of this season.

Panthers only hope to come after a boat parade down the New River in Fort Lauderdale.

With the deadline coming on Monday, Zito may not be finished.

Panthers watched defense star Aaron Ekblad injure his right leg Friday night, and although Brunet said the injury doesn’t think it’s long-term, Florida may still be looking for help in the blue zone.

As far as Giroux goes, he was considered the best player available in the commercial market after the Flyers failed this season.

Giroux, a 15-year NHL veteran, is a natural center likely to enter the right side of the Florida top line alongside Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe.

In 1,000 matches with the Flyers, Giroux has scored 900 points – 291 goals – and would give the Panthers a top 6 score.

Florida could also push Anthony Dockler to Barkoff’s side and play Giroud with Sam Bennett and Jonathan Huberdeau in the second line. or a combination of some.

Regardless, coach Andrew Brunet and his staff have a plethora of options now.

They are all very sweet.

Giroux, 34, had a full no-motion clause with the Flyers and could turn down any further trade.

Despite rumors earlier this season that Giroux would like to go to Colorado, those reports were never confirmed.

Word leaked this week that Florida was his preferred destination allowing the Panthers to send their 2023 first-round pick to the Canadiens for the Chiarot and send their player package to Philadelphia.

Frank Seravalli of DailyFaceoff.com reports that Giroud told Philadelphia he was only going to Florida – and Flyers only spoke with Zito about the trade.

For Tippett, the trade marks the end of a volatile career with the Panthers.

He made his National Hockey League debut not long after Florida picked up the first round (tenth overall) in 2017. He played in seven games and returned to his junior team in Mississauga, Ontario, for the remainder of that season despite joining the AHL Springfield Thunderbirds once their junior season is complete.

In 2018, Tippett was seen as having a chance to earn the Panthers but the team ended up making him an early loser.

Tippett then turned pro in 2019 and was sent to Springfield with the Panthers trying not to rush him. He had a great season with the T-Birds and was likely to be called up in February but a season-ending wrist injury he sustained in January cost him that shot.

He made the Panthers last season and ended up making 42 appearances, scoring seven goals with 18 points.

By the end of last season, Tibet was playing in a second streak with Huberdeau and Bennett. These three looked great together in qualifying and started training camp together.

Tippett ended up splitting his time with the Panthers and AHL Charlotte this season. With the Panthers he struggled at times, scoring six goals with 14 points in 42 games.

He’s been with Charlotte since his dismissal on February 22 – and playing with the Checkers, winning the AHL Player of the Week award after scoring four goals on eight points in four games.

The Panthers took him out of Thursday night’s game against Providence in anticipation of this trade passing by the end of the week and they didn’t want to risk getting him hurt.

In 12 games with the Checkers—with the Philadelphia scouts watching most of them—Tibett scored six goals with 18 points.

As for Jiro, things sometimes come full circle.

Giroux’s first goal in the NHL came on January 16, 2009 against Thomas Vokoun in a 3-2 loss to the Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise.

Michel Rebek, David Booth and Brian McCabe (now in the front office of the Panthers) scored for Florida in this win.

“I think every kid’s goal is to score in the National Hockey League,” Giroud said. “Now that I’m out of my way, I can continue to play better.”

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