The Philadelphia Flyers locked up Sean Couturier today a year before he reached free agency, but they won’t be doing the same for captain Claude Giroux. When GM Chuck Fletcher spoke with the media about the contract, he indicated that he would be waiting until after the season to speak about a new deal with Giroux. He didn’t mince words when explaining why the Couturier deal happened so early:
Sean’s our best hockey player right now, and he’s the key guy. If Sean had left, that would’ve changed the direction of the franchise. To lock him up was incredibly important for the short and long term.
Fletcher did suggest that the relationship between the Flyers and Giroux could continue beyond this season, but both sides are happy to wait and see how the year plays out before making any decisions. The 33-year-old Giroux has played his entire career to this point in Philadelphia and had 43 points in 54 games this season. His eight-year, $66.2MM contract that was signed in 2013 will expire at the end of 2021-22, making him an unrestricted free agent.
- There was a ton of speculation about the health of Carey Price this offseason, but head coach Dominique Ducharme told the media today including Marc Antoine Godin of The Athletic that the veteran goaltender will be there when the Montreal Canadiens kick off training camp next month (or at worst join just a few days into it). Price’s health was a huge topic of conversation when he was left exposed to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion process, but more important is his impact on the Canadiens lineup. When healthy and playing his best, Price is still among the top goaltenders in the world. But injury issues have been a problem in recent years and he just turned 34. Price has five seasons remaining on the eight-year, $84MM deal he signed in 2017 and will earn a total of $13MM this season through signing bonuses and salary.
- Alex Turcotte, who is hoping to make his NHL debut this season with the Los Angeles Kings, underwent successful surgery for acute appendicitis. The young forward is still expected to be recovered in time for the start of rookie camp in a few weeks. Turcotte, 20, was the fifth-overall pick in 2019 and scored 21 points in 32 games for the Ontario Reign last season in his first taste of professional hockey.