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Senators, Giroux agree to three-year deal

Claude Giroux Claude Giroux - Getty Images

OTTAWA — Claude Giroux is heading north.

The Ottawa Senators signed the forward to a deal worth US$19.5 over three years as NHL free agency opened Wednesday.

The move is another big one in the nation's capital as the team pivots out of its rebuild with a young core led by captain Brady Tkachuk, star defenceman Thomas Chabot and star winger Tim Stutzle.

"We’re thrilled to add a player of Claude’s calibre to our lineup," Senators general manager Pierre Dorion said in a release. "He’s an elite offensive talent with exceptional face-off prowess and a player who maintains a strong work ethic.

"His leadership skills are arguably among his best assets. We’ve set out to bolster our roster this off-season and this addition is another important component in helping us achieve that. We’re very happy to welcome Claude and his family home to Ottawa."

Giroux had spent his entire NHL career with the Philadelphia Flyers before being acquired by the Presidents' Trophy-winning Florida Panthers at the trade deadline in March.

An unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career, he combined to register 25 goals and 65 points in 75 regular-season games in 2021-22 before adding eight points (three goals, five assists) in 10 playoff contests.

The 34-year-old grew up in Hearst, Ont., but moved to the nation's capital with his family as a teen and starred for the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on the other side of the Ottawa River for three seasons.

Giroux, who will carry a $6.5-million cap hit with the Senators, has registered 294 goals and 923 points in 1,018 games over his 15 seasons to go along with 81 points (28 goals, 53 assists) in 95 playoff contests.

Internationally, he has helped Canada win gold at the 2008 world junior championship, the 2015 world championship and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

The signing capped a huge week for Senators general manager Pierre Dorion, who acquired sniper Alex DeBrincat from the Chicago Blackhawks at the draft, shed goaltender's Matt Murray's contract in a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and then swung a trade with the Minnesota Wild for netminder Cam Talbot.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 13, 2022.