On March 19, the Philadelphia Flyers traded long-time captain Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers. Soon afterward, the first rumor arose linking the 34-year-old star to the Ottawa Senators.
In his March 23 edition of “32 Thoughts”, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman suggested Giroux was “doing his research on Ottawa” though he cautioned there's no guarantee he'll join the Senators. Two days later, the Ottawa Sun's Bruce Garrioch reported the Senators and Montreal Canadiens are among several clubs thought to have an interest in Giroux if he tests this summer's free-agent market.
Garrioch said he's been told Giroux is intrigued by the promising Senators. He also indicated there are Ottawa fans hoping Giroux wins a Stanley Cup with the Panthers and signs with his hometown Senators to finish his playing career.
This isn't the first time Giroux's been linked to the Senators this season. Back in October, some observers believed he'd only waive his no-movement clause to go home to Ottawa. His recent move to Florida proves that wasn't the case, but perhaps it'll be a different story if he hits the open market in July.
Whether Giroux signs with the Senators this summer depends on whether they'll get into the bidding and pitch an enticing offer.
Garrioch reported some NHL executives believe the versatile two-way forward could seek a two-or-three year contract. Cap Friendly indicates the Senators have $59 million invested in 13 active players for 2022-23, more than enough to offer up perhaps something between $6 million and $7-million per season.
As for the Canadiens, they'll have to shed a lot of salary if they intend to bid on Giroux. They're sitting at $82.4 million tied up in 16 active players next season.