Florida Panthers add experience, leadership and talent with Giroux Trade

On March 19, Florida Panthers general manager Bill Zito worked his magic again by acquire a longtime forward from the Philadelphia Flyers and captain Claude Giroux in exchange for forward Owen Tippett, a first-round selection in 2024 and a third-round selection in 2023. Additionally, the Panthers acquired centers Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov as well as a pick of fifth round in 2024 of the Flyers. With that, the Panthers get one of the most talented players in the NHL and a longtime captain.

The illustrious career of “G”

Since being drafted in 2006, Giroux has been the face of Philadelphia hockey. He got his first chance in the NHL in the 2007-08 season. His first career goal came against the Panthers at Bank Atlantic Center, now FLA Live Arena, on January 27, 2009. In 2013, he was named the 19th captain in Flyers history for leadership skills and through 1,000 games with Philly, he has 900 points (291 goals, 609 assists) to rank second in franchise history in games played, assists, and points, and eighth all-time in goals.

Claude Giroux, former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Giroux played in 85 career playoff games, scoring 25 goals and 48 assists. In 2010, he helped the Flyers win the Eastern Conference Finals 4-1 over the Montreal Canadiens as the seventh seed and appeared in six Stanley Cup Finals games, scoring two goals, including an overtime winner in Game 3, and two assists.

Related: Panthers Acquire Claude Giroux from Flyers

With his arrival in South Florida, he will greatly benefit the team for its next playoff push and has a legitimate shot at winning the Stanley Cup.

The arrival of Giroux cements the first line

Carter Verhaeghe and Aleksander Barkov are the Panthers’ deadly weapons on the front line. However, the right has seen many different faces throughout the season that have either disrupted the chemistry on other lines or just plain failed. With the talent that Giroux has, he will definitely cement himself on that front row and said he couldn’t wait play with Captain Panther.

“He is still in a good position. He is one of the best defensive forwards in the league. On top of that, he makes a lot of plays and he has that offensive touch. If I get a chance to play his line, I’m sure I’ll be [acting] like the first time I went to school, just laughing a little.

– Claude Giroux on Alekander Barkov

The Panthers’ top line is now one of the most dangerous in the NHL.

The Florida Flyers?

Giroux will recognize a few familiar faces upon his arrival in defensemen Radko Gudas and Robert Hagg as well as goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. While in Philadelphia, he played alongside them for at least a season or two. It will be as if he never left the city of brotherly love.

Giroux built for playoff hockey

With 85 games of career playoff experience, Giroux loves the playoffs. His experience will benefit those who haven’t been to the dance, like Sam Reinhart, or rookies like Anton Lundell.

Related: Panthers Overpay, But Get Physical Experience And Playoffs In Chiarot

In addition, his style should be very effective against the opposition in May. Despite his 34 years, he still has plenty left in the tank with 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 57 games this season.

Giroux will be a mentor

Giroux has shown he can be a leader. With his long career, he will pass on important lessons to young players on the team or those trying to break through the roster. Even if it is only for a few months, such teachings come only once in a lifetime.

Zito goes all-in

Including his most recent moves, Zito tells the NHL the Panthers are all for a title this season. With their exceptional depth of attack and the older generation’s hunger for the championship, they have the assets and the attitude to put on a strong Cup run. They may find themselves struggling down the line, at least it shows that Zito is confident enough to go for it this season. The window of opportunity is small and he made sure to step through it before it closed.

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