Given his long resume of accomplishments, Flyers captain Claude Giroux really doesn’t have to do anything more to show he’s one of hockey’s best players.
However, with his contract about to expire at season’s end, there’s still a little extra motivation to prove he remains among the elite as he approaches age 34 in January.
By scoring seven goals in his first 15 games, Giroux once again is building confidence in the offensive side of his game.
He’s said on occasion he wants to play until 40. The question is: Will it be with the Flyers?
Although there haven’t been any serious rumblings from either the Flyers or Giroux’s camp, the guess here is that eventually he will sign an extension in the vicinity of four or five years in order to finish his career in an orange and black jersey.
These kinds of negotiations often center on comparables, and while Giroux might not be the caliber of Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby, he does have achievements which keep him in the same ballpark.
Ovechkin, 36, just signed a five-year deal which pays him $9.5 million per year through age 40.
Crosby, 34, has four years left on a 12-year pact which pays him $8.7 million through age 37.
Giroux, who is making $8.275 million on the final season of an eight-year contract, could walk into general manager Chuck Fletcher’s office and say how about just extending this arrangement for another three, four or five years?
The point is, Giroux, Ovechkin and Crosby show no signs of slowing down, plus each is a franchise player along the lines of a Bobby Clarke, a Nick Backstrom or a Mario Lemieux.
If you’re a GM, don’t you want to hang on to a legend until he’s ready to retire?
Circumstances beyond anyone’s control kept Eric Lindros from finishing his career here, but his retired number still hangs from the Wells Fargo Center even though he moved on to other teams.
It would be cool if the Flyers made sure that sort of thing doesn’t happen again with Giroux.
Good to see alumni in shape
Several thousand fans showed up at the Wells Fargo Center on Monday night for the “Orange and Black” alumni game in conjunction with the Flyers Hall of Fame induction ceremony and they saw some aging ex-players still getting around quite well.
What more can you say about 78-year-old Joe Watson or 71-year-old Reggie Leach? They moved around the Wells Fargo ice quite well. Some of the younger guys, such as Danny Briere, Simon Gagne and Scottie “Hat Trick” Upshall, almost looked like they could still play in the NHL.
These guys should serve as an inspiration to us all. It was great to see. As the late, great Tom Petty once sang, “you never slow down, you never grow old.”
We know it’s an Olympic year, which throws the whole NHL schedule out of whack, but has anyone taken a look at the Flyers’ schedule for the second week in December?
Five games in seven nights and two pairs of back-to-backs, including one in the far west? It’s understood the schedule is done by computer and subject to building availability, etc. but isn’t this a bit much? Plus, why is there a five-day break for Christmas? Shouldn’t a day or two be enough to recover from the eggnog? (Note: All NHL teams get Dec. 24-26 off)
The bottom line is this: So many games in a row is just an invitation for exhaustion and a welcome mat for injury. The NHL shouldn’t subject its players to this sort of treatment.
This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: Giroux fast start building case for next contract