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Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux appears headed toward free agency

May 1, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) against the New Jersey Devils  at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
May 1, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) against the New Jersey Devils at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers locked up center Sean Couturier with an eight-year, $62 million deal on Thursday, but it doesn’t appear they are close to inking captain Claude Giroux to a new contract.

In fact, general manager Chuck Fletcher said the expectation is Giroux will enter the 2021-22 season unsigned and won’t commit to a new contract during the season.

Giroux signed an eight-year, $66.2 million extension in July 2013. It expires at the conclusion of the upcoming season, at which time he will become an unrestricted free agent.

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“I’ve had good conversations with Claude and with Pat Brisson, his agent, and at this point our plan is to play the season out and we’ll talk at the end of the season,” Fletcher said. “We’re both comfortable with that. Claude’s our captain, he’s a great player, and I anticipate that we’ll find a way to continue that relationship going forward.

“But right now I think what we’ll do is we’ll just get through the season and we’ll look at the situation and see where he’s at, see where we’re at and we’ll do what’s best for everybody.”

The Flyers selected Giroux with the No. 22 overall pick in the 2006 NHL draft. The 33-year-old center made his debut in the 2007-08 season but has been a fixture in the lineup since 2009. In 943 career games, he has 858 points (273 goals, 585 assists) and trails only franchise legend Bobby Clarke in both games played and assists.

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In 54 games last season, he tied James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek for the team lead with 43 points on 16 goals and 27 assists.

Giroux has added 73 points (25 goals, 48 assists) in 85 Stanley Cup playoff games.

The Flyers are scheduled to open the new season against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 15.

–Field Level Media