The Philadelphia Flyers have been one of the more watched teams during the young offseason, mainly because of what they’ve had a tendency to do in free agency and the trade market over the last several years. But there was an expectation of a lucrative contract extension coming for one of their stars this summer as well.
That expectation became reality when the Flyers signed captain Claude Giroux to an eight-year contract extension that will go into effect for the 2014-15 season. The deal is for just a touch over $66 million, and will carry a cap hit of $8.275 million over those eight seasons.
Some may look at this deal as an overpayment for Giroux, who was set to become a free agent next summer. There’s no doubt that the 2013 season presented something of a down year for Giroux, given what we’ve come to expect from him. But it was a rough year all around for the Flyers, and it’s unlikely that he peaked in his glorious 2011-12 season.
That 2011-12 season saw Giroux light up the stat sheet on a more than nightly basis, with 93 points, including a career best 28 goals, in 77 games. He won well over 50 percent of his draws and provided strong two-way play, getting physical when he had to, blocking some shots, and providing leadership, particularly in the postseason.
We’ve seen what Giroux’s upside is, and it is something fantastic for the future of this Flyers franchise. Even in a supposed ‘down year’ in 2013, he still finished with a point per game, at 48 points in 48 games. The season before that saw those 93 points in 77 games, which is going to likely be the expectation for him moving forward.
Which is why the money in his new contract extension is just right. Giroux is one of the very best players anywhere in the league. He’s the centerpiece and the captain of this Flyers team moving forward. He deserved to be paid among the league’s best, and starting next year, he will be.
Giroux really is the total package in the middle of that first line for the Flyers. While he’s not likely going to win a Selke Trophy any time soon, he’s a solid player at both ends of the ice, obviously excelling on offense. He’s a terrific playmaker for those around him, while also being capable of putting up 25-30 goals a year for himself, in addition to being successful at the faceoff dot.
Any way you slice it, he absolutely deserved this new contract extension, and the money involved in the next eight years was just right.