Earlier this month, Elliotte Friedman mentioned on his 30 Thoughts Podcast that he would “bet” Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux will gets moved at this year’s NHL trade deadline. On the same podcast this week, Friedman mentioned that the Colorado Avalanche are the team connected to nearly every big time trade rumor as the deadline approaches.
Friedman elaborates a little bit when it comes to the rumor saying that Joe Sakic is looking for a right handed shot up front and that an impact player on an expiring contract like Giroux would be his preference.
With the Flyers sitting at the bottom or the Metropolitan Division standings, it stands to reason that they would be looking to move out guys like Giroux who can could bring back a decent return as a rental at the deadline. Moving on from the face of the franchise is hard but it’s the best thing for a team that has fallen well below expectations over the last few seasons and should be looking at a complete roster overhaul.
At the end of the day, any trade will be Giroux’s decision to make. With a full no-movement clause, the Flyers would have to get permission from the captain to pursue a trade. With that being the case, it’s easy to see Giroux having the Avalanche at the top of his list of preferred destinations as he tries to go win a Stanley Cup.
As is often the case, the biggest obstacle in a trade like this comes down to the salary cap. Giroux is on the books for $8.275m against the salary cap this season. That’s a big ticket but one that is a lot more manageable that it looks on it’s surface. As of today, more than $4m of Giroux’s cause has already accrued against the cap. By the time the trade deadline arrives, that total will be more than $6m. The Avalanche would need just under $2m in order to make a trade work without any money moving out. According to CapFriendly, the Avalanche are currently expected to have approximately $780k of space at the deadline meaning that even if the Flyers were to retain half of Giroux’s remaining salary, the Avs would still need to find a little extra money under the cap to make the trade work.
An easy way to clear the cap space would be to put Nicolas Aube-Kubel back on waivers.