f four Game 7’s in the 2011 playoffs have proven anything, it’s that there is extreme parity in the NHL.
Prior to Tuesday’s Game 7 beat down in Philadelphia, that was no more evident than the seventh seed Buffalo Sabres and second seed Flyers who separated by just one goal. Aside from goaltending, the difference between the two teams was almost non-existent — until the final game.
The game changer? The Flyers came armed with big guns.
“When we need to have a big game, the bigger the game the bigger the players that we have,” Mike Richards said. “Danny [Briere], Kimmo [Timonen], [Chris Pronger], and Claude [Giroux] step up and it’s nice to see that we have confidence when we play in big games.”
Is anyone surprised by the Flyers’ current scenario?
Falling behind 3-2 in the opening round series against the seventh-seeded Buffalo Sabres, is anyone shocked or befuddled that the Flyers, this core group of players, has taken the difficult road and subsequently have placed their backs against the wall once again?
Claude Giroux isn’t.
“We don’t do things around here according to plan,” he said after Friday’s Game 5 loss. “We just find a way to get it done. This is one situation that we got to find a way to get it done.”
VOORHEES, N.J. — In Thursday night’s hair-pulling 1-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres in Game 1, the Flyers racked up 35 shots and 74 total attempts at goalie Ryan Miller.
Yet, they still want and need more.
Claude Giroux will be a Philadelphia Flyer through the 2013-14 season.
According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, the Flyers have inked the 22-year old play-making forward to a three-year, $11.25 contract. The deal will be accompanied by a salary cap hit of $3.75 per season.
CapGeek.com reports the deal breaks down as $2.75, $3.5 and $5 million.
Giroux and the Flyers were reported by the Ottawa Sun on Nov. 7, to be closing in on a deal. But there was no indication that it was this close. Giroux has paced the Philadelphia forwards this season with seven goals and seven assists in 15 games. The Hearst, Ontario native tallied 47 points in 82 games in 2009-10.
According to Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun, the Flyers and Claude Giroux are nearing a contract extension that would keep the 22-year old restricted free agent in orange and black for years to come.
Garrioch didn’t specify the years or money on the new deal, however it is expected that Giroux will more than double his current earnings of $821,667.
Giroux, in his third year with the Flyers, appears to be in the midst of the breakout season, potting seven goals and seven assists in 15 games.
The Hearst, Ontario native was drafted 22nd overall by the Flyers in 2006.
Although opening day of training camp is still roughly a month away, that doesn’t stop the Flyers’ front office from building the framework of the forward lines.
According to CSNPhilly.com, the Flyers are planning to start training camp with Mike Richards centering Claude Giroux and Dan Carcillo. This might come as a minor surprise considering that Giroux proved late last season that he flourishes at the center position.
However, Giroux will be replaced as a pivot by Jeff Carter, who will be between Ukrainian sniper Nikolai Zherdev and sophomore James vanRiemsdyk.
On Friday morning, 23-year-old Boston Bruins forward and restricted free agent Blake Wheeler was signed to a one-year, $2.2 million arbiter-ruled contract with the team.
On July 21, 22-year-old St. Louis Blues forward David Perron inked a two-year deal with a salary cap hit of $2.15 million.
Why is this relevant to the Flyers? Because come next offseason when budding forward Claude Giroux hits restricted free agency, these players could very well be a bench mark for his next contract.