The Florida Panthers haven’t tasted playoff success yet, but they’re clearly going for it at the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. After giving up a first-rounder to trade for Ben Chiarot, the Panthers won the Claude Giroux sweepstakes, while it appears that Owen Tippett is one of the main parts of the return.
Panthers trade for Claude Giroux; Tippett featured in Flyers’ return
The Panthers confirmed the details of the Claude Giroux trade as such:
Panthers receive: Claude Giroux (Flyers retain 50% of salary), Connor Bunnaman, German Rubtsov, and a 2024 fifth-rounder.
Flyers receive: Owen Tippett, a 2024 first-round pick (top-10 protected), and the Panthers’ 2023 third-round pick.
The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor and others report that the Panthers were the only option in the Claude Giroux trade, adding key context for those unhappy about the Flyers’ return.
Already historic Panthers offense gets deeper, more experience
The Panthers already boast a historic offense. With Giroux in the mix, they have the potential to be downright terrifying. Among other strengths, Giroux continues the pattern of the Panthers adding forwards who can plug into a variety of lineup situations. (Sam Reinhart shines as another forward who could play on the wing or at center.)
Claude Giroux (to Florida) is an excellent offensive forward both at 5v5 and 5v4, with a great shot and is also solid defensively, with a very healthy penalty differential. Literally no flaws to speak of, and with a handsome head of red hair to boot. pic.twitter.com/Kb5KS9SHSA
— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) March 19, 2022
Giroux also brings a rare level of experience to the table for a Panthers team that went from having something to prove to having a ton to prove.
That pressure could be tough to handle for a simple reason: a brutal Atlantic Division just seems to keep getting tougher. For all the Maple Leafs’ struggles, they’re a dangerous team (especially if they get better goaltending or trade for an upgrade). The Lightning amped up their three-peat by burning through first-rounders much like the Panthers. Don’t count out the Bruins, either, who aggressively added Hampus Lindholm.
Really, the East is a beast in general, as you can make an argument for almost all of its top eight teams going deep in the playoffs.
Flyers receive a mixed bag in return
Considering the emotions of Flyers fans, it was always going to be tough to “win” the Giroux trade. Especially since his no-trade clause limited the number of bidders. Also, Giroux is a rental, stripping another level of leverage.
The return, in terms of value, is about what I expected going back months, because as much as fans didn't want to believe it, this is the established going rate for a Giroux-type rental forward at the deadline, particularly one w/NMC. Having to take a 2024 1st though is tough.
— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) March 19, 2022
With a first-rounder so far off — and most prospects needing years to grow — there could be quite a bit of pressure on Owen Tippett to develop. He’s been a work in progress, at best, so far. It’s not overly promising that Tippett hasn’t been able to “ride the wave” in a Panthers offense that’s brought out the best in so many other players.
Owen Tippett is 23 and still hasn't shown much at the NHL level (despite ample time with one of the best wingers in the league). Defence is a major issue. pic.twitter.com/AIDqdlR2YE
— dom at the athletic (@domluszczyszyn) March 19, 2022
There’s potential there, at least. He’s 23, and was the 10th pick of the 2017 NHL Draft.
It’s tough not to wonder if some of this revolves around “culture.” In this great Athletic piece (sub required), Charlie O’Connor argued that the Flyers could pay for emphasizing style over results in extending Rasmus Ristolainen. At least some are calling Tippett a “power forward,” so maybe there’s a theme here?
Tippett, a power forward, is centerpiece of G deal. #Flyers
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) March 19, 2022
Maybe this trade package is the best the Flyers could get for Giroux, yet it’s going to leave bad tastes in a lot of mouths. But at least it’s a gesture toward rebuilding, even if it’s unlikely to satisfy fans.