NHL Rumors: Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers Inching Closer

The Florida Panthers have been busy and apparently it's not expected to stop anytime soon. After dealing forward Frank Vatrano to the New York Rangers, in a move that will save them over $2 million in cap space, the Panthers continue to be linked to Claude Giroux. The Flyers legend plays in his 1000th game on Thursday night and after that it should be go-time on the trade front. 
The Panthers scouting staff has been busy following not only the Philadelphia Flyers but also their American Hockey League affiliate as the Giroux talks have been ongoing for weeks. At this point it appears the Panthers offer will be centered around Owen Tippett. The 23-year-old was sent down earlier this season after some inconsistent play. In 42 games with the big club this season, the former first-round pick has produced six goals and 14 points, meanwhile has tallied another 18 points in 12 minor-league games. It's become obvious Tippett's game is meant for the NHL and he just needs an opportunity for some more ice-time and a longer leash and look for the Peterborough, ON native to scare 20 goals a season.

As for Giroux, if it ends up the Panthers talks fall apart, the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Nashville Predators, and Washington Capitals remain possibilities. His resume speaks for itself and it sounds like he's ready to move on from the Flyers. He recently admitted this season has been by far the worst of his tenure with the franchise.

The price tag is likely a first-round pick, top prospect and a young NHL ready forward. A hefty price for a rental but when you come with the intangibles of a player like Giroux, general manager's get off their wallets.
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