At the beginning of the year, 22-year old Claude Giroux was set to be a restricted free agent after the season on July 1.
Usually during a contract year a player will turn their game up to prove to ownership that they belong on the team and deserve the big bucks.
In only a short amount of time, Giroux has shown general manager Paul Holmgren that he is for real and the Flyers rewarded his fine play with a three-year extension on Monday.
Many were wondering if Giroux would pick up this season where he left off in the playoffs of the previous season.
During 23 playoff games, Giroux tallied 21 points, with 10 goals and 11 assists. One of those goals was the overtime game winner in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Flyers would later lose the series to the Blackhawks in six games, but Giroux was a critical piece to the Flyers success and he was expected to bring about the same results in this season.
In only 15 games this season, Giroux has clearly picked up where he left off. Giroux has scored seven goals—leading the team—as well as seven assists. He also leads the NHL with three shorthanded goals, two of them coming against the rival Pittsburgh Penguins.
He is one of the reasons that the Flyers went on a six game winning streak that shot them up to the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Although that streak was snapped recently by the conference leading Washington Capitals, with the help of Giroux, the Flyers look to stay on top for the rest of the season.
Coming into the season, two of the biggest question marks were whether Giroux and/or Jeff Carter would get contract extensions?
Clearly the Flyers have realized that they cannot let Giroux go and have answered one of those questions. So what does that mean for Carter?
Will the skilled winger be playing elsewhere next year? Or will he be given the same extension as Giroux has received?