Claude Cashes In
One of the underlying themes this season for the Philadelphia Flyers and their fans has been the need to offer up contract extensions to a few of their upcoming free agents. This season is the last that Ville Leino, Jeff Carter and Claude Giroux had on their contracts. At least two of the forwards would need to be extended before the end of the season, and the conventional wisdom pointed towards Carter being the first to use the ink. Reports have surfaced from Comcast Sportsnet Flyers beat writer Tim Panaccio that there have been discussions between Carter’s agent and General Manager Paul Holmgren. Although the talks haven’t seemed to indicate that anything was imminent, it seemed like Carter was at the top of Holmgren’s checklist.
Of course, just when you think you have the Flyers’ front office figured out, they blindside you completely. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Monday evening that the Flyers have reached an agreement on a three-year, 11.25 million dollar contract extension for Claude Giroux. Giroux, who has shown his talent on a consistent level this year, is definitely deserving of his deal. The 22 year-old forward has 14 points in 15 games this season, and looks to be the future of the Flyers franchise on offense.
According to www.capgeek.com, Giroux will earn 2.75 million in 2011, 3.5 in 2012 and 5 million in 2013. The extension will allow for the team to focus on Carter’s extension and possibly Leino as well. Although the fans have had a field day in the past roasting Holmgren for his roster moves, there is nothing to complain about in reference to the extension. Also, it is worth noting that Giroux’s emergence as a top player for the Flyers has come with much greater responsibilities and ice time. Many criticized Holmgren to no end for his trade of Simon Gagne in the offseason, but the trade has allowed for Giroux to step into the a much bigger role on the team this year.
Holmgren has made his fair share of mistakes in the past, but he’s also made some great moves as well. The extension that was given to Giroux will fall under the latter category. Giroux will become a cornerstone for the Philadelphia Flyers franchise in the coming years, and his extension goes a long way in explicitly demonstrating that.