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Ex-Flyers star Claude Giroux’s season ends; let the speculation begin



Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
Photo: Zack Hill, Flyers.

Former Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux went down firing.

Giroux had a game-high nine shots Monday, but didn’t connect against all-world goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. Neither did his Florida Panthers teammates as they lost to host Tampa Bay, 2-0, and were swept in the Eastern Conference semifinals, four games to none.

Florida, which led the NHL with 122 points and had the league’s highest-scoring team in the regular season, managed just three goals in the series.


Tampa Bay, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion, outscored the Panthers, 13-3, over the four games.

Vasilevskiy stopped 151 of 154 shots in the series, a ridiculous .981 save percentage. The 27-year-old goaltender has shutouts in six of his last seven series-clinching victories. Remarkably, he has stopped 199 of 200 shots in those seven wins.

Florida lost despite playing its best game of the series. Vasilevskiy was the reason.

Giroux, acquired two months ago in a deal that sent Owen Tippett and first- and third-round draft picks to Philly, was upstaged by former Flyers farmhand Pat Maroon on Monday. Maroon, a physical 6-foot-3, 238-pound left winger, scored on a tip-in to snap a scoreless tie with 13:44 left in the third.

It turned out to be the game-winner, and Ondrej Palat added an empty-net goal with 22 seconds remaining.

Maroon has won the Cup in each of the last three seasons — one with St. Louis, two with the Lightning. He was dismissed from the Phantoms in 2010 after an alleged physical confrontation with coach Greg Gilbert.

Great fit

Giroux, 34, was terrific with the Panthers. He had 23 points in 18 regular-season games, and eight points over 10 playoff games. He was Florida’s second-leading scorer in the playoffs.

Now that the season is over, there will be lots of speculation in the coming weeks as to where Giroux, a prospective unrestricted free agent, will play in the future. Will he return to the cap-strapped Flyers? Can they afford him? Will he decide to sign with the Florida Panthers? Can they afford him? Will he end up somewhere else, like his hometown Ottawa Senators?

Wherever he goes, he won’t be cheap because Giroux showed he still has plenty left in the tank.


The Flyers signed winger Linus Sandin to a one-year, two-way contract that has a $750,000 cap hit. He had eight goals and 20 points in 36 games with the Phantoms this season. … Florida’s power play was 1 for 31 in the playoffs. “I take a lot of blame for the power play; that was my fault,” interim Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said. … Until Monday, Florida had not been shut out all season. … Tampa, which will face the Carolina-Rangers survivor in the conference finals, has won its last 10 playoff series. … Former Flyers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (24 saves) had an outstanding game for Florida. … Aleksander Barkov (39) and Jonathan Huberdeau (30) combined for 69 regular-season goals but failed to score against the Lightning in the playoffs.

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Tom Martin

Please let him go to Ottawa. Great player, not a great Captain. Let’s go forward not back.


As always great article. I was so upset that the Panthers did not win the series and advance G’s Dream of hoisting the Cup. In fact I cried after the game. You are so right when you said in the title of this article “Let the speculation begin'” I am really hoping that Giroux re-signs either with the Flyers or the Panthers. But since both teams have the salary cap issues I doubt that either will happen unless G is to take a pay cut. I don’t see that happening either. I know that deep in his heart, he would want to come back to the Flyers and finish his career as a Flyer. He and his wife have set up roots there. He even has the Giroux Foundation in Philly. There has been much speculation that the Ottawa Senators would want him. I just bet, that since he has family their and he grew up in the area that this is where he will decide to go if the Flyers or Panthers do not want to re-sign him. I just hope that if he does go their that they have an internet English radio broadcast station so that I can listen to the games of the Senators, and still listen/watch both teams in addition to remaining the Diehard Flyers fan that I am.

Jeffery Savage, Still a Diehard Flyers and still a Diehard Claude Giroux fan from Denver, CO

Sid Cohen

Great article!! I am a HGE G fan, he comes to play every game. It is not his fault that the Flyers organization has failed miserably to field enough talent, grit, coaching and player development.G deserves a pay day, his talent is big time.Again, not his fault Fletcher and Hexy over pay (Provorov, JVR, Risto, Farabee, etc.). I think he goes home to Ottawa.

Ray Alpaugh

Typical Giroux as come small in playoffs

Howard Silvers

What ashamed that his career was wasted in Philly. He’s been a top 10 player for more than a decade. If I was Florida or another contender I would seriously look at him. Seems like going home to Ottawa is throwing the cup dream away. G thank you for being the single bright spot with such a dreadful franchise here in Philly for so long. I hope you win a cup. You deserve it.

Zeke Mowatt

G is not coming back to Philly. He now knows what it’s like to play with a legitimate contender. Why would he come back to this train wreck?


Yeah, Pat Maroon was too big, fast, strong and tough to fit in with the Flyers ideal profile hockey player, which is small, slow, light and soft. Should have dumped the coach and kept Maroon.

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