Flashback February 24, 2008: After being approached by then Toronto Maple Leaf General Manager Cliff Fletcher about waiving his no trade clause, Leafs star Mats Sundin decided not to waive “after careful deliberation.”
Fourteen years later, Cliff’s son Chuck Fletcher – the General Manager of the Philadelphia Flyers – is in the same boat, sort of.
The Flyers are in a situation where a retool or rebuild (call it what you will) is in order. And one of the more interesting pieces the Flyers have to offer is star Claude Giroux. But like Sundin, Giroux holds all the cards with his full no movement clause.
The younger Fletcher said during his media availability that “it will be Claude’s decision.” Prior to the media availability, yours truly said on social media that there was at least one conversation between the Bruins and Flyers and that Giroux would be strictly a rental as he would likely re-sign with the Flyers in the offseason.
Giroux is in the final year of an 8-year contract that carries an AAV of $8,275,000. He turned 34 years of age in January but he still has lots to provide for a team looking to make a run at a Stanley Cup. He’s tied for the team lead with 35 points in 41 games, which isn’t far off his career average.
The cost to acquire Giroux is dependent on so many factors. First off, Giroux would have to waive his NMC. Secondly, who is on his list of teams he is willing to waive for? Finally, how many teams are on his list?
Obviously, the more teams that are on his list, the higher the cost to obtain as there will surely be a bidding war. We could also see a Taylor Hall situation where he names just one team and then the Fletcher doesn’t have much bargaining power when it comes to a trade.
The Flyers are in no rush to get this done since the closer we get to trade deadline the lower Giroux’s cap hit becomes for an acquiring team. But when you look at all the playoff teams current cap situations only the New York Rangers, Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins are in a position to take on Giroux while only having to move out minimal salary (The Rangers wouldn’t have to move out any salary). The rest are in LTIR space (or have virtually no space) and would need to do some cap management to make it work and would likely need to send salary back to the Flyers.
Giroux is set to meet with his agent Pat Brisson over the weekend to discuss his options and what’s best for him. Will Giroux consider Boston as a chance to win a Cup? You’d have to think that the idea of playing with Hall and David Pastrnak is at least enticing to him and it gives the Bruins a better chance to go on a run.
The Bruins should have interest in acquiring Giroux. At the same time, they have to weigh all their options. Would the assets required be better served going after a younger player with term? Would they be better off going after a different but younger free agent to be with a better chance of re-signing with the Bruins?
Whichever route they decide, getting Giroux (or one of the others) allows the team to move Eric Haula to the third line with Charlie Coyle and Oskar Steen (for now?). That will enable the Bruins to move Jake DeBrusk in a separate deal to improve the left side of the blueline.
So, now we wait for Giroux’s decision.