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Giroux Says Goodbye to Philly: The Flyer’s long-time captain Claude Giroux is traded to the Florida Panthers.

As the NHL trades continue to happen throughout the league and players’ contracts approach expiration, some surprising moves are being made. One of these trades that has shocked not only Philadelphia fans, but hockey fans in general, is Flyers captain Claude Giroux being dished off to the Florida Panthers.

Giroux was one of the best players to wear a Flyers uniform, and although the team had little playoff success in his 15 years, he still was a leader and fan-favorite.

Giroux has 291 career goals and 609 career assists with Philadelphia. 18 of those goals and 24 of those assists have come this season. Giroux also recently joined Bobby Clarke as the only two players to have played 1,000 NHL games exclusively with the Flyers.

So what does this mean for Giroux, the Flyers and the Panthers? The Panthers will surely benefit from Giroux’s arrival. They are an already dominating team, leading the entire Eastern Conference with a 42–14–6 record. 

Joining captain Aleksander Barkov and forward Jonathan Huberdeau, Giroux will help the already hot-streaking Panthers to retain their Eastern Conference power. The Panthers hope to use the quickness, agility and grittiness of Giroux along with that of Ben Chiarot and Robert Hagg to continue their success.

It’s true that bringing in new players as the season nears the playoffs can throw off team chemistry. It also is true that Giroux, only having played with one team his whole career, might have a hard time adjusting, having to communicate and cooperate with new teammates.

However, Panthers coach Andrew Brunette is hopeful. He understands that players need time to adjust but that won’t stop the team from playing and practicing at the top of their game. “There’s a little bit of an easing process that we have here with [the new guys],” he said.

Giroux also sounds hopeful that he will mesh with his new teammates. “The guys are fast. We’re having fun out there,” Giroux said. If fun really matters in sports, then Giroux and his new Florida teammates should have no problem coming to terms with each others’ playing styles.

The Flyers, although facing a pretty large organizational dilemma, will look to add depth to their roster with Owen Tippett, a young forward from Peterborough, Ontario. He joins Flyers stars Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny as they try to turn around their less-than-ideal season.

Sources: ESPN, NHL

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