Philadelphia Flyers: Left wing move may be last chance for Claude Giroux

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 04: Claude Giroux
NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 04: Claude Giroux /

The last few years have been a struggle for Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux. The team is contemplating moving him to the left wing, and if the change doesn’t work out it could spell the end of Giroux’s time in Philadelphia.

With the 2017 NHL season quickly approaching, the Philadelphia Flyers are thinking about making a major change on the ice. For the last five years, Claude Giroux has led the team as their captain, leading the team in points twice in the four seasons as captain and finishing second the other two years. While these stats are impressive, it says more about the team in general rather than Giroux’s play.

The last few years have been tough for the Flyers, and Giroux’s stats have been on a steady decline, so if he is one of the top two scorers on the team that means the number of points scored has fallen off in recent years.

It is no secret that Claude Giroux is one of the most talented players in the NHL. Even with the decline in scoring, he is still a threat that other teams must take into account. The Flyers have been stuck in neutral the past few years, and a change needs to be made. Head coach Dave Hakstol realizes this and has since given time to Giroux at left wing in order to give him a needed jump start. Now on a line centered by defensive wizard Sean Couturier and top scorer Jake Voracek to the right, Hakstol seems to be stacking one line.

Over the last two seasons rumors have been swirling about Claude Giroux’s long-term fit with the Flyers. As a 29-year-old, Giroux isn’t a young stud anymore, but rather a grizzled veteran. With each underwhelming season, Giroux’s trade value declines just a little more, so the real question is, could it be the right time to trade the captain?

The Flyers are quickly becoming a team filled with youth, and to expedite the process of becoming truly competitive again they need some form of veteran leadership. Giroux still has 4 years left on his eight-year, 66.2 million dollar deal he signed in 2013, so there is no reason to trade him now where the team wouldn’t get much in return, rather they are seemingly trying to reenergize Giroux’s career with a position change.

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The position change may not stick for the entire year, but it is worth a shot. Claude Giroux is still immensely talented, but if he can’t get back on track at left wing, his career in Philadelphia could be coming to a premature end.