Claude Giroux is heading to the Ottawa Senators after signing a three-year, $19.5 million deal Wednesday.
“We’re thrilled to add a player of Claude’s calibre to our lineup,” said Senators general manager Pierre Dorion. “He’s an elite offensive talent with exceptional face-off prowess and a player who maintains a strong work ethic. His leadership skills are arguably among his best assets. We’ve set out to bolster our roster this off-season and this addition is another important component in helping us achieve that. We’re very happy to welcome Claude and his family home to Ottawa.”
The longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain finished the 2021-22 NHL season with the Florida Panthers following a March trade. Giroux, 34, finished with 21 goals and 65 points in 75 regular-season games between the two teams. He would later record eight points in 10 playoff games before the Panthers were swept in the Second Round by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
According to Cap Friendly, Giroux will make $7 million in salary next season; $7 million in salary in 2023-24; and $5.5 million in the final year. The contract also features a full no-movement clause in all three years.
Signing Giroux continues an aggressive offseason for Dorion. Last week he sent a trio of draft picks to the Chicago Blackhawks for 40-goal scorer Alex DeBrincat. Days later he freed up salary cap space by moving two picks and goaltender Matt Murray to the Toronto Maple Leafs. To replace Murray in net, the GM then swapped Filip Gustavsson with Cam Talbot in a deal with the Minnesota Wild.
[NHL free agency tracker 2022: Full list of offseason signings]
The experience Giroux will bring to a Senators team that is trending upward will help in the development of their young forwards like Josh Norris, Shane Pinto and Tim Stützle.
Giroux’s deal leaves the Senators with a little under $16 million in cap space, per Cap Friendly. Restricted free agents Alex Formenton, Erik Brännström, Mathieu Joseph and Josh Norris still need to be signed, with Norris, a 35-goal scorer last season, likely taking up a big chunk.
These moves and future ones, like retaining homegrown players like Norris and Formenton, show that the Senators are ready to win this coming season. Maybe they’re not Stanley Cup dreaming yet, but these are steps towards to end their five-season postseason drought.
“I wouldn’t sign here if I didn’t think we had a chance to win a Cup,” Giroux told TSN. “…I’m not saying we’re going to win the Cup this year, but the plan is the build on it and have baby steps to that.”
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.