#3 Claude Giroux
Born: Hearst, Ontario
Position: Centre, Right Wing
Expiring Contract: $8.275 million AAV
Coming off an 8 year deal worth $8.275 million per season, Claude Giroux is slated to be an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
He’s made his money and at 34 years old, he’ll probably be looking to join a Stanley Cup contender while he can still contribute.
The Toronto Maple Leafs may not be Giroux’s first choice though.
His hometown of Hearst, Ontario is a French community 942 km north of Toronto. He grew up a Montreal Canadiens fan and any family in Hearst would still need to make a 10 hour drive to get to Toronto.
Giroux was also adamant on a trade to the Florida Panthers when he decided to waive his no-movement clause to accommodate a trade from the Philadelphia Flyers, the only NHL team he had ever played for.
That may show that he wants to go to a top team to win a cup. I could see him signing re-signing in Florida for cheap, or maybe Colorado, Carolina or Tampa Bay. I wouldn’t rule out Toronto, but I also wouldn’t bet money on him joining the Toronto Maple Leafs.