Panthers all in after acquiring Claude Giroux from Flyers

Cats also acquire forwards Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov

The Florida Panthers have acquired forwards Claude Giroux, Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov as well as a 2024 fifth-round draft selection from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward and former first round pick Owen Tippett, a conditional 2024 first-round selection and Florida’s 2023 third-round draft pick. The Flyers will retain 50% of Giroux’s salary cap hit.

Philadelphia will receive the Panthers first-round selection in the 2024 NHL Entry Draft, unless the pick falls within the top 10. In that event, the Flyers will receive Florida’s 2025 first-round selection.

The 34-year-old Giroux has appeared in 56 games with Philadelphia this season, ranking second on the club with 42 points (18G/24A), while leading the Flyers with 12 power-play points.

Among NHL skaters that have taken at least 900 faceoffs this season, Giroux ranks third with a 60.9% faceoff win rate. This was a definite area of need for the Panthers.

Acquiring Giroux, along with defenseman Ben Chiarot last week, shows that general manager Bill Zito and the rest of Florida’s brass are all in and the goal this year is the Stanley Cup. This, as fans, is what we’ve been waiting a long time for.

As for the other pieces coming into the organization, Bunnaman, 23, has skated in 15 games with Philadelphia in 2021-22. Over 54 NHL games with the Flyers from 2019-2020 to 2021-22, he has produced one goal and three point and eight penalty minutes. The 6-foot-1, 207-pound native of Guelph, Ontario has registered 54 points over 147 career AHL games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Bunnaman was originally selected by the Flyers in the fourth round (109th overall) of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.

Rubtsov, 23, has played in 37 AHL games with Lehigh Valley this season, recording two goals and six points. Over 93 AHL games with the Phantoms from 2018-19 to 2021-22, he has amassed 29 points. The 6-foot-2, 178-pound native of Chekhov, Russia won the Memorial Cup in 2017-18 with the Acadie-Bathurst Titan, registering 10 points over 19 postseason games. He was originally selected by the Flyers in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft.

Best of luck in the city of brotherly love to Tippett. The 23-year-old appeared in a total of 94 games with Panthers since he was taken with the tenth overall pick in 2017. Tippett’s been tearing it up in the AHL as of late, and this trade should get him back in the NHL.

Bring on the playoffs!