What do you do with a 22 year-old center who’s having a breakout season and he’s in the final year of his contract before becoming a restricted free agent? You make sure that you sign him up for a few more seasons with your team before he becomes a target for offer sheets in the off=season. That’s exactly what Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has done with Claude Giroux, signing him to a three-year contract extension worth $11.25 million.
For Giroux, it’s been a slowly building process for him to reach this level of play. He’s in his third NHL season this year, and coming off a playoffs that saw him emerge as one of the better Flyers forwards on their run to the Stanley Cup finals. Giroux has picked up where he left off last year as he leads the Flyers in points this season ahead of more notable Flyers scorers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter. The cap hit for Giroux is a cozy $3.75 million per year. If he continues to be a threat in all manners of the game at even strength, on the power play, and on the penalty kill that price tag will be a bargain for the Flyers.
Now the Flyers just have to hope the scoring continues and his ability as a wreaker of havoc on special teams can evolve to an even more dangerous level. They’ll also hope that the semi-sweetheart deal Giroux signed sets a good example for future free agent-to-be Jeff Carter whose contract ends after this season.