#4 – Claude Giroux
It has been five years since Claude Giroux scored north of 30 goals in a campaign, but he has still been consistently productive. This is why the Panthers swung a deal to bring him to Sunrise, Florida.
Now in his 15th season in the NHL, Giroux has a collected 904 career points on 291 goals and 613 assists. This year, he has recorded 18 goals and 29 assists in 62 games. At age 34, it appears as though Giroux has a lot of hockey left in the tank. With experience playing both center and on the wing, there is a lot he has to offer next year’s club.
Giroux will be in demand this summer. On 32 Thoughts, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman suggested that the Ottawa Senators will be in play once free agency opens. He explained that Giroux has been “doing his research on Ottawa.” There have been other rumors circulating about the forward’s next potential landing spot, with the Senators name continuing to be raised. That doesn’t mean that joining the Leafs is out of the question though the thinking from insiders is that Giroux could be a valuable presence for a rebuilding franchise.
Giroux is currently playing in the last year of his eight year, $66.2 million contract. He’s earning an AAV of $8.275 million. That’s far more than he is likely to receive for both term and value in his next deal. That will make Giroux a more affordable option for any suitor.