“The Flyers were looking to trade Giroux at the deadline.”
Someone I know told me recently. I admit, I was a little surprised, but then I realized, yeah, it makes sense.
Some people just rolled their eyes and stopped reading this article. Some are thinking “Giroux sucks, get rid of him,” while others are wondering why I’m even bringing this up. Well, should they?
Ron Hextall when he became the General Manager made it known the team was going to build. Enough quick fixes, enough paying too much in free agency, enough of all the things the Flyers have done for the last X amount of years that has gotten them nowhere. The Flyers were going to build the right way, through the draft.
Their Golden Year saw what can only be described as a frustrating season, as I’ve written already. They tore through a ten-game win streak only to fall flat the next two months, playing themselves out of a playoff spot. Still, the team finished only several points out of the playoffs while playing in a division that saw four (yes, FOUR) teams finish with 100+ points. There were plenty of negatives, but also a few positives, namely Ivan Provorov, Wayne Simmonds and some decent debuts by guys like Samuel Morin and Robert Hagg.
Building takes time. It’s understandable. But the bad part about that—guys like Giroux are going to age and when the team has their base, they will be past their prime.
Six years ago, Giroux had a phenomenal season, posting 93 points in 77 games. Since then, his production has steadily declined to the point where in a full 82 games this year, he finished with 58 points. As I’ve noted before, in today’s NHL when hitting 100 points is becoming increasingly difficult, 58 points is nothing to scoff at, but it’s alarming that a guy the Flyers see as a franchise player is having a tough time scoring.
Giroux turned 29 in January, which means in the middle of next season, he’ll be 30 (*pats self on back for solid math skills*). Today’s NHL is becoming faster and the human body has this annoying tendency to slow down as it ages. Guys like Jaromir Jagr are freaks of nature. But not every player can stay as successful for long. Would it be smart for the Flyers to trade a guy like Giroux, at the peak or near enough his prime, and get themselves assets?
Giroux would be coveted by a number of teams, either those right on the cusp or teams looking for a solid, proven veteran will talent to propel them to the Cup. As noted by Broad Street Hockey as well, he’s been extremely valuable in the production department over the last several years, despite declining numbers.
Look, I’m not sitting here saying the Flyers need to move the captain. I wrote back in February that some Flyers fans give him way too much crap, which I feel is unwarranted. But the Flyers need to make a decision–are they going to be good enough to truly compete for a Cup in the next few years where Giroux will help them win? Or is their rebuilding process going to use up G’s prime years and keeping him will hold them back?
Obviously, the Flyers, somehow, winning the second pick in the 2017 draft could speed up their timeline. The Flyers are guaranteed a tremendous player and losing Giroux now could be detrimental. Still, if the Flyers are offered a head-turning deal for their captain, one that would better the team, they shouldn’t automatically say no.