The Philadelphia Flyers announced on Monday afternoon that they have locked up one of their prized young players, centre Claude Giroux, to a 3-year deal worth $11.25 million in total, which works out to be a $3.75 million cap hit for each of the three seasons. Giroux was scheduled to become a restricted free agent on July 1st, 2011, but the Flyers did their due diligence to make sure that he wasn't going to be open for any offer sheets.
At the time of the signing, Giroux was ranked 2nd in team scoring in the hockey pool ranks, sitting only behind rookie goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, with 7 goals and 7 assists in the first 15 games of the season. Giroux was ranked 27th in the league in pool scoring and has developed into the team's number two centre behind Mike Richards, being used in every situation for the team as well.
My early figures indicate that the Flyers now have 13 locks on their team, six forwards and seven defensemen (not going to count Bobrovsky quite yet), for a 2011/'12 salary cap hit of $46.7 million, which would leave roughly $12.7 million (if the cap were to remain the same) in space for six forwards and two goalies, including Jeff Carter, who will also be looking for a long-term extension during the season.
It's hard not to like this signing, especially since you can see how much potential Giroux has and how he is using his talent already for good things. Giroux could end up being a real steal at under $4 million per season and he will still be a restricted free agent at the end of this new extension. That is some savvy work by Flyers GM Paul Holmgren, for sure.