The Flyers welcomed back their captain and new NHL All-Star Game MVP, Claude Giroux, to the Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ, on Tuesday, clubbing their sticks across the ice to the rhythmic sound of “MVP!” MVP!” …until he skated into the middle of the team’s stretch circle in recognition.
The Flyers still admire the center who remains, at 34, one of the best players in the league.
“It was really uncomfortable, but it was great,” Giroux said of the extra attention given to him on the practice ice. “Since I got here this morning, they made me feel pretty special. So that was fun.
Giroux continues to shine, even though the Flyers are struggling near the bottom of the standings, and the three goals he scored over the weekend in the All-Star Game(s) was just one another moment for him as the March 21 trade deadline approaches. Close.
His future in Philadelphia is complicated: Giroux is expected to waive his no-move clause as he plays out the final months of his eight-year, $66.2 million contract, and the Flyers could surely get prospects or a contract. first-round pick in return.
Giroux’s salary this season is just $5 million, which would make it easier for teams in smaller markets to become a “rental player” on a prorated basis. Boston, Calgary, Minnesota and Colorado are among the playoff contenders who could be in the mix for the All-Star. He would then become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
“He clearly isn’t done,” Flyers interim coach Mike Yeo said. “He is a determined player and performs at a very high level.”
Giroux’s 15 goals and 35 points are both second to Cam Atkinson on the Flyers, and the former first-round pick — who made his debut in 2008 — continues to shoot near the top of most major offensive records in franchise career.
“I think we have to recognize what we’re dealing with here, he’s a franchise icon, his jersey is going to be in the rafters,” Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said recently. “For me, he’s a Hall of Fame player.”
Fletcher and Giroux’s agent Pat Brisson met recently and often talks about the All-Star’s fate. But as far as that no-move clause goes…
“It will be Claude’s decision,” Fletcher said.
Giroux was a rising star when he helped lead the Flyers to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010. He finished fourth in the 2018 NHL Most Valuable Player vote. But there have been tough years since then, none as bad as this season’s team heading into Wednesday’s game against Detroit. Philadelphia (15-22-8) has lost a franchise-record 13 straight games, and it has just 38 points this season. The Flyers are on the verge of missing the playoffs for the first time since a five-game losing streak from 1990-94.
They brought in one of Giroux’s former teammates on Tuesday to try to stabilize the franchise. Danny Briere, who spent six seasons with the Flyers and had 30 points in that 2010 run, was officially named special assistant to the general manager.
As the losses mount, Giroux played down his impending move and declined to discuss what might make him give the Flyers a list of teams he would consider as a potential trade destination.
“I’m not going to think about it now,” Giroux said during the All-Star Game. “Just enjoy the weekend. There’s a lot to figure out, but that’s for another day.
Giroux, who has four goals and two assists in the last 10 games, brought his wife and 2.5-year-old son Gavin with him to the All-Star festivities in Las Vegas and clearly enjoyed the family time. . His wife, Ryanne, posted snaps from the weekend of Gavin on dad’s shoulders, inside the locker room, asleep in dad’s arms on the plane.
“I think he took a picture with all the mascots,” Giroux said.
Giroux had a million reasons to cherish extravagance. The seven-time All-Star earned his first MVP award with two goals in the finals and another in the semifinals. Giroux also picked up a slice of the $1million check shared between the winning players as captain of the Metropolitan team – a role he got after Alex Ovechkin tested positive for COVID-19 earlier. during the week.
“He has set the bar very high and I’m also happy that he is receiving personal accolades,” Yeo said.