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Claude Giroux is headed home.
The Ottawa Senators have won the free-agent sweepstakes for the productive veteran scorer, signing the Hearst, Ont., native to a three-year contract worth $19.5 million.
He will ring the Senators up for $6.5 million on an annual basis through the life of the deal.
Giroux appears to be the final piece of what is now an impressive revamped top six with the Senators. General manager Pierre Dorion had already completed arguably the biggest move of the offseason, adding two-time 40-goal scorer Alex DreBrincat to a core that already includes Brady Tkachuk, Josh Norris, Drake Batherson, and Tim Stutzle.
It's possible Giroux plays the role of Patrick Kane with the Senators looking to maximizing the finishing abilities of the volume-scoring DeBrincat.
Giroux's decision is an interesting one, and presumably influenced by loose ties to the region. He was very particular about his exit from the Philadelphia Flyers after 14 seasons (10 of which he captained) ahead of the trade deadline this past year, choosing the Florida Panthers as the only organization he would accept a move to. He reportedly turned down interest from the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.
Split between the Flyers and Panthers, Giroux netted 21 goals and added 65 points to a career total quickly approaching 1,000 for his career. He sits 77 points shy of hitting that mark after passing the 1,000-game threshold with the Flyers days before his trade to the Panthers.
Ottawa is among a small handful of teams in the running for the NHL's best offseason to this point. In addition to bringing in Giroux and DeBrincat, Dorion traded out of the Matt Murray contract and looked to finally solidify the crease with the acquisition of Cam Talbot from the Minnesota Wild.
The Senators still have money to spend in free agency, and will likely target a defenseman to help shoulder some of the load for Thomas Chabot.
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