Claude Giroux picked the Florida Panthers to chase the Stanley Cup.
Let that sink in for a moment and think about what it means to the Panthers as an organization.
The Panthers have not won a round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 1995-96, when they made the Stanley Cup Final in their third NHL season. They’ve made the playoffs four times in the past 20 seasons.
But they’ve become contenders, and they’ve raised the stakes by acquiring Giroux from the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday and defenseman Ben Chiarot from the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.
“It sends a clear message that we’re all in, and we’re really excited moving forward, for sure,” Panthers forward Anthony Duclair said.
Giroux is scheduled to speak to the media in Florida on Monday, the day of the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. We won’t know his version of events until we hear from him.
But this is what we know:
The 34-year-old forward was captain of the Flyers, who selected him in the first round (No. 22) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He scored 900 points (291 goals, 609 assists) in 1,000 games, including 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 56 games this season. Only Bobby Clarke played more games (1,144) and scored more points (1,210) in Flyers history.
Giroux was in the final year of an eight-year contract, and he had a no-move clause, giving him control over his future.
Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said he had an ongoing dialogue with Giroux since last offseason. Giroux wanted to see how the season went and where the Flyers were before the trade deadline. With Philadelphia (19-31-11) seventh in the Metropolitan Division, it was time to go.
The closest Giroux had come to the Cup was when the Flyers made the Cup Final in 2009-10, losing to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games. He wanted another shot.
“There was a lot of interest in Claude,” Fletcher said. “But it was a very limited market ultimately that I could deal him to.”
Fletcher declined to say how short Giroux’s list was, but bottom line, Florida was on it.
The Flyers retained 50 percent of Giroux’s remaining salary and received forward Owen Tippett, a first-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft or 2025 NHL Draft, and a third-round pick in the 2023 NHL Draft.
The Panthers also received forward prospects Connor Bunnaman and German Rubstov along with a fifth-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
“He’s a smart guy,” Fletcher said. “He’s obviously been able to make a lot of money in his career, but he wants to win.”
The Panthers gave the defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning a series in the playoffs last season, losing in six games in the Eastern Conference First Round before watching them go on to win the Cup for the second straight time.
They’re 42-14-6 this season and lead the Atlantic Division, six points ahead of the Lightning. They’re three points behind the Colorado Avalanche in the race of the Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular-season team.
Their roster has all the elements: stars, scoring depth, goaltending, and role players young and old. Center Joe Thornton, a 42-year-old future Hall of Famer still trying to win the Cup for the first time, signed a one-year contract Aug. 13.
“What we have going on, they all want to be part of,” Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said. “That’s really special for this whole organization that people outside of Florida think that. And again, for those guys, what they’ve done, they’ve created this culture. It’s been fun to be a part of it.”
The Panthers added more depth by acquiring defenseman Robert Hagg from the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.
“I’m happy for ‘G,'” Flyers coach Mike Yeo said of Giroux. “I think it’s going to be a great situation for him, a great opportunity for him to hopefully go win that Stanley Cup. A very deserving player, and so I know he’s going to a great situation there.”
There is still a long way to go for Florida and Giroux.
The Panthers have to prove they can win in the playoffs, and they have to come out of the Atlantic Division with the Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Boston Bruins.
Giroux can become an unrestricted free agent after the season.
“We haven’t done anything yet,” Brunette said. “We haven’t won a playoff round in how many years? We’re not worried about everything else. Let’s go in and play our best hockey. We’ve got to win a round first before we even talk about all these expectations.”
“I think it does speak volumes of the organization that we’re … management [is] kind of just saying we’re all in or we’re going for it here,” Brunette said. “I think that’s an excitement level for all of us.”
The Best Canadian Players Ever To Play In The NFL
When people talk about the best players in the history of the NFL, they usually talk about American players. Well, when we consider that most of the legends were from this country, this should not come as a surprise. The case is the same today. Just take a look at thegameday.com and you will see who the most popular individual players are and the top betting picks for football enthusiasts.
However, looking further north, we can see that there are many splendid Canadian players who graced the NFL with their talent.
Let’s take a look at the best ones who played in the league.
This ridiculously talented American-Canadian football player had a successful career in the league. He played as a wide receiver for various teams throughout his career, including the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and Cleveland Browns. Burleson was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
He quickly made a difference on the field, showcasing his speed, agility, and reliable hands. During his time with the Vikings, he became known for his ability to make acrobatic catches and his versatility as a receiver. In 2006, Burleson signed with the Seattle Seahawks, where he continued to excel. He played a key role in the team’s success, helping them reach the Super Bowl in the 2005 season. However, injuries limited his playing time during his tenure with the Seahawks.
In 2010, this wonderful man joined the Detroit Lions, where he had some of the best years of his career. He formed a dynamic receiving duo with Calvin Johnson, and together they became one of the most formidable wide receiver tandems in the league. Burleson’s leadership and veteran presence were also highly valued by his teammates. After his time with the Lions, Burleson signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2014.
This football diety wrote a delightful piece of the NFL history and he made the whole of Canada proud. He played as a fullback and defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears in the 1930s and early 1940s. Nagurski was known for his incredible strength and power on the field, earning him a reputation as one of the toughest players of his time.
During his splendid career, Nagurski helped lead the Bears to multiple championships, including the NFL Championship in 1932, 1933, and 1940. He was a dominant force on both offense and defense, known for his ability to break tackles and his hard-hitting style of play. Nagurski’s physicality and versatility made him a standout player in an era when two-way players were common.
He was later shown the heavenly doors of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. This of course, only made his legacy a legit one in this neck of the woods. What do his colleagues have to say about him? Well, most of them remember him being one of the toughest dudes to roam the green fields.
This absolute legend became famous for playing as a placekicker for the Indianapolis Colts from 1998 to 2005 and later for the Dallas Cowboys in 2006. Vanderjagt was known for his accuracy as a kicker and he has the NFL record for the most consecutive field goals made with 42. He was also the first kicker in NFL history to have a perfect season, making all of his field goal and extra point attempts in 2003.
Vanderjagt was selected to the Pro Bowl twice in his career and was a key contributor to the Colts’ success during his time with the team. Imagine having those tales to tell the kiddies on your lap when you get old.
Jimmy Butler steals the show on NBA media day with ‘emo’ phase look following Damian Lillard’s trade to the Milwaukee Bucks
Whether or not Miami Heat’s golden child Jimmy Butler’s new “emo” look is just a phase, the NBA star carried it off with some aplomb, drawing plenty of laughs from his teammates.
One year on from his memorable fake dreadlocks look, the 34-year-old outdid himself by turning up at the Heat’s media day on Monday sporting a straightened fringe, piercings in his eyebrow and lips and painted black nails.
Butler said he’s now “emo” and after the summer he and the Heat have had, who can blame him?
After former Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard and his agent publicly stated on numerous occasions that he would only want to play for Miami, it seemed like a matter of when, not if, the 33-year-old would end up in South Beach.
Butler led the Heat to an improbable NBA Finals appearance as the eight seed last season, so it’s easy to imagine his excitement at the prospect of Lillard’s addition to the roster pushing the team over the top and to its first title in the post-Lebron James era.
However, the Milwaukee Bucks swooped in last week with a package that blew Miami’s out of the water, meaning Lillard will now be plying his trade in Wisconsin and not Florida.
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, laugh it up,” Butler said as he entered his press conference, pushing his fringe out of his eyes. “I’m emo. This is my emotional state, I’m at one with my emotions so this is what you get.”
Despite failing to acquire Lillard and losing key contributors Gabe Vincent and Max Strus, Butler remains confident ahead of the upcoming season, telling reporters the Heat are going to win it all.
If it’s good news that he’s now at one with his emotions, Butler might just also be a gifted method actor and isn’t actually going through a belated “emo” phase. The six-time All Star could be heard saying “don’t make me break character” as he entered the press conference.
His new character was certainly a hit with his teammates and had Bam Adebayo crying tears of laughter as the pair were having their photos taken for the new season – which means, yes, Butler will have this hair in official photos for the entire year.
Certainly not someone to do things by halves, Butler was fully immersed in his new state and even posted songs from emo bands on his Instagram story throughout the day.
Finding Your Perfect Match: The Best Ways to Choose an Online Sportsbook
In the ever-expanding world of online sports betting, selecting the right sportsbook is crucial. This is to ensure an enjoyable and secure gambling experience. With numerous options available, it can be challenging to find the perfect fit. For instance, you can be looking into sites like BestOdds to find a sportsbook to go with but do not know what exactly to check.
This article will explain the basics of finding an excellent online sportsbook.
Licensing and Regulation
The first and most critical factor when choosing an online sportsbook is ensuring it operates in a legal and transparent manner. A reputable sportsbook should possess a valid license from a recognized regulatory authority. These licenses indicate that the sportsbook adheres to strict standards, including fair play, responsible gambling and financial security.
Before registering, check for the sportsbook’s licensing information. In most cases, you will find this in the footer of their website. Some of the most reputable regulatory bodies for online sports betting include the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC), the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
Additionally, research the sportsbook’s track record for regulatory compliance and any previous non-payment or unethical practices incidents. User reviews and industry news sources can provide valuable insights into the sportsbook’s reputation.
Odds and Betting Markets
The quality of odds and the variety of betting markets offered are key factors in determining the suitability of an online sportsbook. Competitive odds provide better potential returns for your bets, while a wide range of markets allows you to explore different betting options.
Compare odds from multiple sportsbooks to ensure you get the best bet value. Some websites and apps even offer odds comparison tools to make this process more convenient.
Moreover, consider the breadth of sports and events covered by the sportsbook. Whether you’re into mainstream sports like football, basketball, or soccer or niche sports and events, the sportsbook should offer diverse markets to cater to your preferences.
Security and Payment Options
Security is paramount when sharing personal and financial information with an online sportsbook. Look for sportsbooks that employ the latest encryption technologies, such as SSL (Secure Socket Layer), to safeguard your data. Consider factors like two-factor authentication (2FA) to enhance account security further.
Payment options are another critical aspect. Ensure the sportsbook offers convenient and secure methods for depositing and withdrawing funds. Common payment methods include credit/debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets (like PayPal or Skrill) and cryptocurrencies (like Bitcoin). Choosing a sportsbook that supports your preferred payment method is essential to streamline your betting experience.
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