The Philadelphia Flyers wasted little time getting left winger Claude Giroux under contract, re-signing him earlier in the week to a three-year, $11.25 million extension that begins next season.
Inking Giroux to a cap-friendly $3.75 million per season was a shrewd move by GM Paul Holmgren, who now turns his attention toward forwards Jeff Carter and Ville Leino. Carter is due to become a restricted free agent next summer, while Leino will be an unrestricted free agent.
Holmgren told the local media he’s currently working on new contract offers for the pair, adding Giroux’s deal shouldn’t affect those talks.
The problem, however, is Holmgren currently has more than $52 million committed to 17 players next season and still has to consider re-signing RFAs Dan Carcillo, Andreas Nodl and Darroll Powe, plus either re-sign or replace pending UFAs Nikolay Zherdev and Sean O’Donnell.
Chuck Gormley of the Camden Courier-Post suggested Holmgren will have to choose between Carter and Leino, believing the longer either goes without a new deal the more likely one will be moved by the Feb. 28 trade deadline.
Holmgren, however, doesn’t have to deal either guy at the deadline.
Carter is a restricted free agent and while he is a target to receive an expensive offer sheet from a rival club if unsigned after July 1, there is still plenty of time to re-sign him. The same goes for Leino, who is able to test the free agent market, but the Flyers still have sufficient time to sign him.
If Holmgren decides to move one of those players he has the option to wait until mid-June to do it, or he may decide to retain both and move a different player.
NO TRADE PARTNERS FOR MAPLE LEAFS GM BRIAN BURKE
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke would love to make a deal to improve his team’s offense, but there are currently no viable offers out there and no imminent deals.
Last season Burke made his blockbuster moves on the last day of January, landing Dion Phaneuf and J-S Giguere in separate deals with Calgary and Anaheim. Undoubtedly he would’ve preferred to make those moves earlier in the season, but part of the reason he couldn’t was because most teams prefer to wait until after mid-season to trade, when a player’s salary becomes more affordable to move or acquire.
No doubt at some point this season Burke will swing a deal, but one has to wonder if it’ll come soon enough to help the Maple Leafs avoid missing the playoffs for a sixth consecutive season.
MINIMAL TRADE OPTIONS FOR FLAMES
Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun reminded Flames fans the team currently has 11 players with either a no-movement or no-trade clause.
As per CapGeek.com, those Flames are: forwards Jarome Iginla, Daymond Langkow, Matt Stajan, Rene Bourque, Ales Kotalik, Olli Jokinen and Alex Tanguay; defensemen Jay Bouwmeester, Robyn Regehr and Cory Sarich; and goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff.
The argument has been made that these clauses really don’t mean much, particularly the no-trade variety, as players can be threatened with being placed on waivers, where they risk being claimed by a team they’d prefer not to go to or worse: buried in the minors if they clear waivers.
Such threats, however, rarely occur and while it’s not uncommon for a player to agree to waive his clause it doesn’t happen often. Those who do waive them tend to be in the final year of their contract and eligible for unrestricted free agency at season’s end, with no intention of re-signing with their current team, preferring instead to go to a playoff contender.
Rumor Roundup appears Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Foxsports.com and Eishockey Magazine.