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Sasha Barkov, Florida Panthers thrilled Claude Giroux is joining the party

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Florida Panthers Claude Giroux Aleksander Barkov
Florida Panthers captain Sasha Barkov converses with new linemate Claude Giroux during their first practice together at the IceDen in Coral Springs on Tuesday morning. — Photo @ColbyDGuy

CORAL SPRINGS — Claude Giroux said if he was able to line up with Sasha Barkov on the Florida Panthers top line, it would be like the first day of school, “just giggling a little bit.”

Barkov grinned when told this, and even though he says the start of school was not his favorite time of the year, he was still happy to have a talented new teammate join him.

“I think we’re going to have a lot of fun playing together,” Barkov said Tuesday. “We have such a great team, have a lot of guys who can play with anyone. I’m just really happy to be a part of this team.”

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Tuesday morning, Giroux joined the Panthers for his first practice with the full squad even though his black-and-orange gloves holding an orange-accented stick clashed with the rest of the Florida color scheme he was decked out in.

If there was any question where the former Philadelphia Flyers’ captain would play, it was answered early on when the first line took its rush: Carter Verhaeghe on the left, Barkov in the middle and Giroux on the right.

An already potent line just got a whole lot better.

“It’s always great having a player like that on your wing,” Barkov said.

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