NHL trade deadline: Flyers reportedly trade Giroux to Panthers

PHILADELPHIA CREAM-Claude Giroux will try to win his first Stanley Cup in Florida.

the Philadelphia Flyers traded Giroux after playing his 1,000th career game with the Florida Panthers franchise, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity on Saturday because the exchange had not been announced.

The move solidifies Florida’s status as a Stanley Cup contender, giving Aleksander Barkov an elite teammate and one of the NHL’s top faceoff aces. Earlier in the week, the Panthers traded a first-round pick and up for Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot.

Giroux was traded after playing his 1,000th game with the Flyers and was celebrated Thursday with a game in his honor. Drafted in the first round in 2006, Giroux made his Philadelphia debut on February 19, 2008 and played his entire career with the Flyers. He has 900 career points and is eighth on the Flyers career list with 291 goals. He helped the Flyers reach the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals and was named All-Star Most Valuable Player that season.

The Flyers also acquired forward Owen Tippett and draft picks.

Giroux had to waive his no-move clause that was part of his eight-year, $66.2 million contract.

He joined Hall of Famer and two-time Stanley Cup champion Bobby Clarke as the only players to reach 1,000 games entirely with the Flyers. Giroux was named captain on January 15, 2013.

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The Flyers have just 19 wins and are tied for last in the Metropolitan Division.

It’s the second big trade for Florida heading into the deadline, after the Panthers landed Chiarot.

The defender is expected to join Florida next week when the Panthers play in Montreal. It will also likely be Giroux’s first game with his new club.

This is yet another clear sign that Florida is ready to turn the tables. The Panthers made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, the franchise’s third season.

They haven’t won a playoff since, going through more than a dozen coaches, going from one rebuild to another, often playing in front of an empty arena and dogged by years of rumors that they would leave the Florida.

But it’s as good as ever for the Panthers, who have the NHL’s second-best record on Saturday, have a Hart Trophy contender in Jonathan Huberdeau, a half-dozen 20-goal scorers already this season and an elite player in Barkov locked up for seven more years.

Additionally, the Panthers have survived a ton of adversity this season.

The team saw Joel Quenneville quit coaching seven games unbeaten in the season as part of the fallout from the Chicago Blackhawks scandal involving an abused player – something that happened when Quenneville coached there there is over ten years old. And on Friday, the team saw top defenseman Aaron Ekblad crawl to the bench in agony after suffering a leg injury in Anaheim. But by the end of the night, the team already had enough information to believe that Ekblad had dodged the kind of significant injury that likely would have ended his season and put a huge dent in the team’s title hopes. Florida.

The Flyers have long been out of the league. But Giroux’s 1,000th game was a rare occasion to celebrate in Philadelphia. Clarke presented Giroux with the silver stick to mark the occasion, and he received a Rolex watch from his teammates and an NHL crystal. Giroux also played in 85 career playoff games for Philadelphia.

“The fans and the organization, my teammates have been so good to me for so many years and that’s one of the reasons it was quite emotional after the game,” Giroux said.

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