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Chuck Fletcher on Claude Giroux’s future: “It will be his decision”

When Claude Giroux’s NHL career is said and done, the Philadelphia Flyers captain will certainly go down as one of the best players to play for the Orange and Black, but with the team continuing to tailspin in the current standings, Giroux’s immediate future on Broad Street remains undetermined.

Giroux is in the final year of his current contract with the Flyers and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. The Flyers meanwhile have lost 13 games in a row, the second 10 or more game losing streak for the team this season.

While Flyers general manager and president Chuck Fletcher doesn’t want to see Giroux’s tenure end on a losing note, he understands the team captain could force his way out of Philadelphia prior to the March 21st trade deadline.

“It will be Claude’s decision,” Fletcher said Wednesday in a press conference. “Claude has a no-move [clause] in his contract; ultimately that will be his decision [to waive]. We’re at the halfway point [of the season]. We’re two months to the trade deadline. We’ll continue to have conversations, and ultimately a decision will have to be made one way or the other. But it’ll be Claude’s decision.

“Claude is one of the best Flyers to ever play,” Fletcher added. “He’s our captain, he’s been our best player this year. Nobody cares more about the Flyers than he does. I think we have to recognize what we’re dealing with here. He’s a franchise icon; his jersey is going to be in the rafters. To me, he’s a Hall of Fame player.”

Giroux, a former first round draft pick by the Flyers in 2006, has delivered several memorable seasons during his NHL career. He’s registered 288 goals and 892 points in 983 games to date for the team and only remains behind team legend and Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke in games played and points.

Despite the Flyers struggles in 2021-22, Giroux has remained a key piece of the offense, totaling 15 goals and 34 points in 40 games, doing everything he can to spark the team up the standings. Injuries and COVID-19 haven’t helped the team in any sense, but neither has their inconsistent ability to score goals and also keep the opposing teams off the scoreboard.

Giroux for now remains a Flyers player heading into February, but Fletcher is prepared to listen to offers for Giroux and others to retool the team immediately.

“Everything is on the table,” Fletcher said. “We’re going to try and aggressively retool here. Right now, we’re really focused on trying to win some games. The math [to make the playoffs] is daunting. If that continues, we’ll look to do what we can at the trade deadline to improve this team going forward.”

The Flyers are coming off a 4-3 loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday and next hosts the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

You can follow Larry Henry on Twitter (@lhenry019) and e-mail him at [email protected].

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