The Philadelphia Flyers would not feel abandoned if captain Claude Giroux waived his no-movement clause to play for a team with a chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Fact is, they would be understanding. And supportive.
“We would be happy for him, especially me,’’ center Sean Couturier said in a Zoom call with reporters Monday. “I’ve been around him since the start of my career. Have learned so much from him. The time and the effort that he’s put into this organization (is amazing). You just wish him all the best, whether it’s here or somewhere else. He’s a guy who definitely deserves to win once in his career.’’
Don’t get the wrong impression. Couturier doesn’t want Giroux to get dealt. He just wants him to get an opportunity to lift a Cup, and the Flyers won’t be contenders any time soon, this year or in the future.
The trade deadline is Monday, and there seems to be a different Giroux rumor every day. Colorado, Florida, Washington, St. Louis, Minnesota, and the New York Rangers are among the teams reportedly showing interest.
Giroux, 34, is being coy about whether he will waive his no-movement clause, but signs point to that happening.
He loves Philly, however, so it’s not outlandish to think he would go to a contender in a deal, then re-sign with the Philadelphia Flyers as an unrestricted free agent in the summer.
On Thursday, Giroux will play in his 1,000th career game, all with the Flyers, when Philly plays Nashville at the Wells Fargo Center. The long-time captain will be honored in 7 p.m. ceremonies, and Bob Clarke, a franchise legend who is an executive with the Flyers, will join in the festivities. Fans are encouraged to arrive early. The game will start at 7:16 p.m.
Still going strong
This season, Giroux is second on the team in goals (18), assists (24), and points (42) in 56 games, and he was named the MVP of the All-Star tournament. He has not slowed down, but the same can’t be said for his team.
The Flyers are at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. They have an 18-30-11 record, and have endured losing streaks of six, 10, and 13 games.
Couturier acknowledged that the losing has weighed on Giroux, whose competitiveness has been his calling card through 15 seasons with the Flyers.
“We haven’t been winning, we haven’t been getting the results we want,” said Couturier, who played in just 29 games and had season-ending back surgery last month.
He said Giroux was a “little bit down” because of the season. “Like everybody else. He’s no different.”
Couturier said Giroux plays for victories, not personal numbers.
“He not a guy who plays for his stats,” Couturier said. “That just shows the kind of leader he is.’’
A leader who will go down as one of the greatest players in Philadelphia Flyers history — no matter where he finishes his career.