It was earlier reported by Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman on Sportsnet that Florida was a “team to watch” in the Giroux sweepstakes and it appears interest is growing on both sides.
The Flyers sent general manager Chuck Fletcher and special assistant Danny Briere to watch the Panthers’ AHL affiliate, the Charlotte Checkers, take on the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this past weekend weekend.
Giroux does have a full no-movement clause in his contract which he would have to waive before any trade could be completed. He has reportedly said he would like to go to Colorado.
The 34-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent following this season.
While it was reported that Owen Tippett was on the trade block in January, there are other pieces that Philadelphia could potentially be interested in.
Per Russ Cohen, prospect expert for SiriusXM NHL Network Radio and sportsology.com, a trade for Giroux could include Florida’s 2023 first-round pick, Lucas Carlsson and the currently injured Grigori Denisenko.
All options are on the table for Giroux — who has been one of the best players in the NHL during his 15-year career.
Since entering the league in 2007, Giroux ranks 10th in points (898) and eighth in assists (608) in 995 games played.
He is unlikely to get traded until after March 17, when he will play his 1,000th game as a Flyer.
With the March 21 trade deadline looming after that, a trade would be expected in the coming days after Giroux’s milestone game.
Giroux, 34, has 17 goals and 40 points in 52 games and could be the winger Florida needs alongside Sasha Barkov and Carter Verhaeghe on the top line.
Mason Marchment has been filling that role nicely, scoring three points in three games since being placed there on Feb. 26. But he played just as well on the third line with Sam Reinhart and Anton Lundell.
Putting Marchment back with his usual linemates and adding Giroux gives Florida three powerhouse lines they can go to in any situation, making them one of the most dangerous teams in the league.
Florida would definitely have to move some money around to be able to swing a deal for Giroux, whose annual cap hit is $8.275 million.
The Panthers may trade either Frank Vatrano or Noel Acciari (perhaps both) to free up some cap space.
Florida may try and acquire an injured player for the purpose of getting some cap relief by putting said player on long-term injured reserve.
The Panthers are currently carrying 23 players on their roster but have a couple moves in their back pocket which could create some space by deadline time.
Florida still has the option of sending Maxim Mamin to Charlotte — as long as he doesn’t play in five more NHL games — without risking losing him on waivers.
The team may also place goalie Jonas Johansson on waivers before the trade deadline to clear another roster spot. Florida could also send Spencer Knight back down to Charlotte, albeit temporarily, to clear a spot at the deadline.
Once the trade deadline passes, teams do not have a roster limit although they still have to stay under the salary cap.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT BUFFALO SABRES
- When: Monday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Key Bank Center, Buffalo
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, SiriusXM
- FanDuel odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-310); Puck line (-1.5, -120); Over/Under 6.5 (-122/+100)
- 2021 regular season series: Did not play
- Season Series — Florida leads 1-0: @Florida 7, Sabres 4 (Dec. 2)
- All-time regular season series: Buffalo leads 52-43-5, 4 ties