Florida Panthers Acquire Claude Giroux from Philadelphia Flyers in Exchange for Owen Tippett, Draft Picks:
The Florida Panthers announced Saturday night that they had acquired long-time Philadelphia Flyers’ captain Claude Giroux, a move many have concluded means Florida is “all-in” on a Stanley Cup this season. The full trade breakdown:
- Center/Wing: Claude Giroux (at 50% salary retained)
- Center: Connor Bunnaman
- Center: German Rubtsov
- 2024 fifth-round draft pick
- Wing: Owen Tippett
- 2024 conditional first-round draft pick
- 2023 third-round draft pick
Giroux is far and beyond the most valuable asset in this trade, as the 22nd overall selection of the 2006 NHL Draft has amassed 900 points (291 G, 609 A) in 1,000 career games for the Flyers. Giroux stands to be the first-line talent that Florida has been searching for all season long to pair with captain Aleksander Barkov. Another portion of Giroux’s game that he brings that Florida is heavily lacking in is face-off win percentage. Giroux, even at 34, is currently third in the NHL in face-off win percentage with 60.9%. The next closest on the Panthers is Barkov at 55.7%, and no one else on the team is above 50%.
Owen Tippett struggled to play up to the expectations of him after he was drafted 10th overall by the Panthers in the 2017 NHL Draft. Tippett has accumulated 33 points (14 G, 19 A) in 94 career NHL games in his early career. It is certainly possible that Tippett is able to become a top-6 forward product within a couple of years, but with Florida in the position to go for it all this season the move had to be made. We wish Tippett all the success in Philly, and wherever his career takes him from this point.
The 2024 first-round pick that Florida is sending to Philadelphia is top-10 protected, meaning that should that pick fall within the top-10 selections of the 2024 draft then Florida will keep that pick and Philadelphia will be awarded Florida’s selection in 2025.
I don’t foresee Bunnaman and Rubtsov contributing to the Panthers roster this season, and they should see significant playing time in the AHL for the Panthers’ affiliate the Charlotte Checkers. Having more AHL depth, especially at the Center position, is always a luxury to have. Rubtsov especially as he was selected 22nd overall by Philadelphia in the 2016 NHL Draft so there could still be some upside potential there.
The Panthers are without a doubt going for it all this season, and they certainly have the pieces on their roster to do it. The recent good news about Ekblad’s injury last night in Anaheim is a welcoming sight. Ekblad is expected to be out in the “short term”, but it should hopefully not affect his playing status when it’s time for the playoffs. The Florida Panthers will now ice a top-6 forward group that includes Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Claude Giroux, Sam Bennett, Anthony Duclair, and Carter Verhaeghe. If you can find a better top-6 group of forwards in the league on the same team then I’d love to see it.
I’m as excited as I have ever been for Panthers Hockey, and I can only hope that fans begin to pack the FLA Live Arena feeling the same exact way. This is without a doubt the most talented roster I’ve witnessed in Sunrise throughout my near 30 years of being a fan. Playoffs can’t come here soon enough.