NHL free agency: Senators signing ex-Flyer Claude Giroux

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Giroux leaving Panthers, but staying in the East originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Claude Giroux will spend his 16th NHL season in the Eastern Conference, but this time he'll do it in Canada.

Giroux is signing a 3-year, $6.5 million AAV deal with the Ottawa Senators, The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported Wednesday afternoon:

The Senators confirmed the signing Wednesday afternoon:

Giroux was a free agent after finishing out the final year of his eight-year deal in Florida following the Flyers' trade deadline swap with the Panthers.

After initial rumblings of potential interest from the Oilers, the return of Evander Kane squashed that possibility and put Ottawa firmly in the driver's seat.

There was probably some wishful thinking among Flyers fans after the deal, dreams of Giroux winning a Cup in Florida to scratch that championship itch and then returning to Philly to play out his career.

Instead, the Panthers flamed out in the second round against the Lightning, so Giroux sought out a team rapidly rebuilding (see: the Alex DeBrincat trade Chuck Fletcher didn't want to make) and one that keeps him in the Eastern time zone.

(Oh, and it's his hometown team from his youth. That doesn't hurt.)

The Senators finished second-to-last in the Atlantic Division last year, losing 42 games. But with the DeBrincat trade, the addition of Giroux, the addition of Cam Talbot, and the existence of Brady Tkachuk - not to mention relative cap flexibility in coming years - Ottawa can try to hit the turbo on a quick turnaround.

Giroux may be getting on in years, but he proved in 2021-22 that he's still a valuable asset on any team, and particularly a team looking to make noise in the postseason as the Senators presumably hope they can next year.

Giroux scored 65 points in 75 regular-season games last year between Philly and Florida, and then added eight points (three goals, five assists) in 10 playoff games while coming up clutch multiple times for the Panthers in their first-round win over the Caps.

It seems like a perfect match for both sides. Good for G.