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NHL Free Agency: Florida Panthers Lose Claude Giroux to Ottawa

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Claude giroux
Claude Giroux celebrates a Florida Panthers victory with goalie Sergei Bobrovsky during the 2021-22 NHL season. — Roger Lee Photographer (561) 866-2000

It turns out that Claude Giroux was a member of the Florida Panthers for a short time as the NHL veteran left the team on Wednesday to sign with the Ottawa Senators as reported by Elliotte Friedman.

Per Pierre LeBrun, Giroux gets a three-year deal worth $6.5 million annually.

The Panthers obviously could not offer anything close to that. 

The new deal for Giroux was announced moments after the free agency market opened at noon.

Giroux, 34, was acquired in a deadline deal with the Philadelphia Flyers and the price was steep as the Panthers gave up Owen Tippett, their first-round pick in 2024 and a third-round selection as well.

The move paid off in the short term as Giroux was an impact player for the Panthers — as expected.

In 18 regular season games, he scored three goals with 23 points mostly playing on a second-line role with Jonathan Huberdeau and Sam Bennett.

Giroux also played on the top power play unit and spent time with Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe as well.

”He has been awesome since he got here,” Verhaeghe said.

Said Andrew Brunette: “When he’s on the ice, on the bench, he’s like another coach. He has seen it all, played in all these different moments. His IQ, how he sees the game is off the charts. And he has this leadership ability where guys listen to him and he is vocal on a team that doesn’t have a lot of vocal guys. He rallies the group and gets them ready to go.”

In the playoffs, Giroux had three goals and eight points in the opening-round win against the Washington Capitals but had just one assist in the second round against the Lightning.

Florida is up against the salary cap and is not expected to be very busy as the free agency market opened today at noon.

Giroux was fond of his time in Florida and was willing to stay there, but they did not have the cap space and he made the decision to return home to Ottawa where he spends his offseasons.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as the day goes on.

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