Flyers forward Claude Giroux would upgrade an already dangerous and deep Blues forward corps.
I heard a rumor recently in the midst of NHL trade deadline talk. A local sports radio show mentioned the possibility of the Blues trading for Flyers star forward Claude Giroux.
This was mentioned as the product of Blues POHO (President of Hockey Operations) Doug Armstrong “zagging” when everyone expects him to zig. “Zigging” would be to acquire a veteran defenseman, long thought to be the only weakness on the team. A Jay Bouwmeester-type. But the available options are relatively few, and it’s a common need among contending teams. The price would be quite high, and the Blues are very tight against the cap.
But of course, the price will be high for a player of Giroux’s caliber. In both cases, the Blues would need to send salary the other way.
And do the Blues need Giroux? Perhaps not, but there’s no team in the league that wouldn’t benefit from having a player like him in their lineup. Giroux is a pending free agent, and has a no-movement clause in his contract, which he means he can control his destiny, approving or declining any trade.
The fact that he is a pending UFA means the price won’t be as high as it would be for a player with term left on the contract. But even so, the Flyers will start with a very high asking price.
Let’s see what kind of package we could offer the Flyers, if we were making the call. Let’s not offer a 1st-round pick off the bat. And we know we need to trade salary for salary.
C Oskar Sundqvist, RW David Perron, 2nd-round pick in 2023, prospect Scott Perunovich
Okay before you lose it because I included Perron in the offer, consider this: Perron is a pending free agent, also. He’ll need to negotiate his next deal with the Blues, or another team. And he doesn’t possess a NMC. The Blues can deal him to offset the salary addition of Giroux.
That’s an attractive package for a 34-year old veteran. The Flyers get a forward to help make up for the loss of Giroux’s production; they get an excellent two-way player in Sundqvist, an they get a high prospect and draft pick. I think that deal would get it done. In fact, it’s quite generous.
Now let’s take a stab at some line combinations:
Saad O’Reilly Giroux
Buchnevich Thomas Tarasenko
Barbashev Schenn Kyrou
Kostin Joshua Toropchenko/Brown
Is that deeper than a lineup with Perron and Sundqvist? Maybe not, but it gives them a little more experienced scoring and leadership.
We all know Doug Armstrong isn’t afraid of making deals. He may very well go the obvious route and get a defenseman, but we shouldn’t be surprised if he makes a more glamorous splash.