NHL trade rumors: Will Claude Giroux be moved by Flyers at deadline?

Voorhees, NJ – With the 2021-22 season exposed to the pilots, one inevitable happened: Claude Giroud’s talk of trade.

This is the risk that looms when a decision is made by one or both parties to operate the contract year. Flyers pressed for revival this season and Giroud’s future has always gone hand in hand.

We are here.

The Flyers find themselves in the longest losing streak in franchise history, dropping 10 or more games in a row twice before the halfway mark and finishing last of the DC division at 13-22-8.

Giroux, an all-time pilot to climb the franchise icons ladder, turned 34 in January and is in the final year of an eight-year deal worth $66.2 million. His contract contains an entire clause not to move. He leads the team with points (34) and equals to the lead of the team with goals (15). It has honestly improved with age.

“He’s our captain, he’s been our best player this year,” General Manager Pilots Chuck Fletcher said Wednesday at his mid-season press conference. “No one cares about the pilots more than he does. I think we should realize what we’re dealing with here, he’s a symbol of privilege, and his jerseys are going to be in the rafters. To me, he’s a Hall of Fame player.”

Is there another chapter for Jiro elsewhere? And do pilots need retooling huge enough to separate from their captain?

The club has won only one playoff series in the past nine seasons and is on track to miss the post-season in successive years for the first time since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 campaigns.

Giroux, the longest-serving active athlete in town since February 2008, is a paid competitor. He was “very angry” at the Flyers position last season after the team missed the playoffs at the time.

In many ways, whether or not he says goodbye will be up to him. The NHL trade deadline is March 21. He’ll have time between now and then – just under two months – to think about the big picture.

His future and the future of pilots.

“Claude has a non-impact deal in his contract. In the end, that will be his decision,” Fletcher said of the possibility of Giroud waiving the no-move clause. “We’re halfway there, it’s been two months since the trade deadline. I think the best way to say that is that we’ll continue to have talks and eventually the decision will have to be made one way or the other. It will be Claude’s decision.

“I spoke with Pat Bryson (Giro’s agent) yesterday, we talk two to three times a month generally. We have a few other clients on our list, so I have a very good relationship with Pat and I think our relationship is great with J.

“I think the best way to put it is, first of all, I think Bob Clarke is probably the best player in franchise history. Once we got past Bob Clark, there were some great players: Billy Barber, Bernie Barnett, [Eric] Lindros, Simon Janney, Brian Propp, You can go on. I think Claude is definitely right about that group. Eric Desjardins, I must not forget him. He’s right on that group, he’s one of the best pilots I’ve ever played.”

Being a pilot is important to Jiro. He has expressed his desire to stay in one place throughout his career.

“When you have the opportunity to play with one organization throughout your career, it is something to be proud of,” Giroud said on April 26 last season. “This organization has a good reputation. Since I’ve been here, they’ve treated me great. If I could, that would be great.”

But if they diverge from each other, the pilots will want to get something for a Giroux-caliber player. The commercial return will greatly help the chances of pilots getting out of their predicament. Fletcher can also do right by Giroux sending him to a competitor, giving him a chance to win this season before he hits the free agent market.

Giroux is on track to play his 1,000th game four days before the trading deadline.

The captain is in charge here. He is getting closer and closer to the crossroads.

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