The Philadelphia Flyers entered the 2021-2022 season with high hopes and high expectations. Hopes and expectations that got a big boost after the first 14-games.
In their first 14-games, the Flyers were 8-4-2. But, since that good start, the Flyers have stalled. Going 7-19-6 in their last 32-games.
After starting on the right track, the Flyers are now at a crossroads. A crossroads that starts with what to do with captain Claude Giroux.
Giroux, who has been the Flyers best player this season, is an UFA at seasons end. At 34-years-old, Giroux has proven this season that their is still plenty left in the tank.
On the season, Giroux leads the Flyers in assists (20). As well as ranking 2nd in goals (15) and total points (35). Giroux’s performance this season earned him the Flyers lone All-Star selection. His 7th selection of his career.
With the Flyers headed towards a “re-tool”, as CEO Dave Scott put it a week ago, the most valuable piece the Flyers have is Claude Giroux.
However, it’s not as easy as just trading Giroux.
Giroux, who owns a full no-trade clause, has to ok the trade. Which is something that has led to speculation about if Giroux would even waive his no-trade clause.
As of the all-star game, Giroux had still not made a decision on whether to waive his no-trade clause or not.
But, that has not stopped one team from checking in his availability.
The Colorado Avalanche, who currently lead the Central Division & the Western Conference, have made multiple calls regarding Claude Giroux’s availability.
Colorado, who is one of the favorites to win the Stanley Cup, would definitely be a place that would catch Giroux’s attention.
If Colorado was to acquire Giroux at the deadline, it would make the Avalanche the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup. Another reason why may entertain a trade to Colorado.
But, what would it cost? What price will both teams have to pay?
In any deal, the Flyers would have to retain part of Giroux’s salary. Depending on the percent retained (max of 50%), will increase the return. Which for the Flyers, retaining 50% of Giroux’s $8.25M cap hit ($4.1M) will be no issue.
For Colorado, it’s where things get complicated.
Giroux can play both wing & center. Something that is very valuable to a team looking to make a deep playoff run.
With the Avalanche deep with young assets, at the NHL & Junior level, the Flyers have plenty of options to ask for in return. One name that has been already rumored is Tyson Jost.
Jost, who is 23-years-old, is in the midst of his 5th NHL season. In 306-career-games, Jost has 44-goals & 57-assists.
After being drafted 10th overall in the 2016 draft, Jost turned pro at the end of his freshman year at North Dakota. Playing in the final 6-games of the Avalanche’s 2016-17 season.
The next season, Jost burst onto the scene with 12-goals & 10-assists in 65-games in his rookie season as an 19-year-old.
Since, Jost has been a lock and solid middle-six player for the Avalanche. As well as stepping up to the top line when needed and not looking out of place by any means.
Any deal the Flyers make will include cap retention. Which, will almost certainly be 50% no matter where Claude Giroux ends up if Giroux waives his no-trade clause.
The problem the Avalanche have is their 1st round pick in 2022 has already been traded away. Which, will be a bargaining chip for the Flyers due to waiting an extra year for the pick.
If a deal were to come together, the one that makes sense for both teams is…
Colorado Avalanche – Claude Giroux (50% retained)
Philadelphia Flyers – Tyson Jost, Sampo Ranta, & 2023 1st round pick
It would give the Flyers a great return at NHL level with Tyson Jost. But, would also give them a decent prospect in Sampo Ranta. Who the Flyers front office knows very well from playing with 2019 pick Bryce Brodzinski at Minnesota. As well as a future 1st round pick.
With the Flyers retaining half of Claude Giroux’s cap hit, the Avalanche would only net a $2M increase. Tyson Jost currently counts $2M towards their cap. Giroux, with 50% retention, would only count $4.1M.
Some will ask why the Avalanche would trade the much younger Tyson Jost for Claude Giroux. But, it’s not too hard to figure out. It’s a move you make to deepen your chances at a run of the Stanley Cup.
Even while some may say it’s an overpayment, Giroux is worth every penny of the price. Especially with the value set last season.
Nick Foligno, who had 7-goals & 9-assists at the time, was traded for a 1st round pick and two 4th round picks from Columbus to Toronto. Foligno’s season totals, as well as career totals, are half of what Claude Giroux has achieved.
Still plenty of time between now and the deadline. But, if Claude Giroux were waive his no-trade clause, this could be a package that gets it done.
PHOTO CREDIT: Tim Nwachukwu – Getty Images