In yet another case of “monkey see, monkey do,” the Philadelphia Flyers have provided center and team captain Claude Giroux with a monumental new contract.
It’s an eight-year extension which, according to multiple sources including CSNPhilly.com, will pay the 25-year-old $66.2 million for the duration.
“We are pleased to announce that we have agreed to an eight-year contract extension with Claude Giroux,” Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said. “Claude is a high-quality young man that over the past few years has blossomed into our best player and also one of the top players in the league. We look forward to more and better things to come from Claude over the next number of years as we try to achieve our goal of becoming a championship team.”
Giroux was due $5 million for the upcoming season before he was set to become a restricted free agent next July.
But in the wake of the Pittsburgh Penguins locking down Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz and Kris Letang to long-term deals over the last few months, it was inevitable that the Flyers’ franchise cornerstone for the time being would be extended in similar fashion.
Reports on Thursday indicated that Holmgren and agent Pat Brisson were working hard at completing the deal. Included in the new pact will be a full no-movement clause.
Giroux did not enjoy a breakout season during the truncated 2013 schedule, his first as captain after Chris Pronger was forced to give it up. He led the club in assists (34) and points (47), while ranking third in goals (13), but tied for sixth-worst on the club at minus-7.
Nonetheless, he ranked first among all centers in the NHL by winning 648 faceoffs while ending the year at 54.5 percent efficiency.
In 333 regular-season appearances over the last five seasons, Giroux has totaled 91 goals and 290 points, contributing 21 goals and 55 points in 50 playoff trials.
“I never really got to thinking about that stuff,” Giroux said when asked if he thought he’d be a Flyer for life. “I just go out there and play hockey. I just love playing the game, and I just try to play my best to help the team win. Five years ago I was just trying to get a spot in the NHL and make sure I get as much ice time as I can to be able to prove what I can do. A lot of that credit goes to the coaching staff and the management to have that trust in me.”