NHL Rumour Report: Claude Giroux sweepstakes enter final lap; 3 rumoured frontrunners

Rumours suggest two or three teams are at the front of the pack in the Giroux bidding war.

- Here we go. With just days to go before the NHL trade deadline, the ever-changing Claude Giroux sweepstakes appears close to its dramatic conclusion.
- Thursday night is a big one in Philadelphia: Claude Giroux will take the ice for his 1000th game and what is very likely his last in a Flyers jersey. After that, it will only be a matter of days (hours?) before he's moved.

- The list of rumoured Giroux contenders has been extensive: the Avalanche, Blues, Wild, Maple Leafs, Hurricanes, Flames, Rangers, Bruins, Panthers and Capitals are believed to have been interested at various points in time. 
- But it sounds like these sweepstakes might be getting pared down to a two or three horse race. The Avalanche, Panthers and possibly Blues are believed to be strong frontrunners, although the Flyers insist Giroux is willing to consider any Cup contending team.

-If the Flyers wants the best possible package, the Avalanche might be the best trade partner. If they want to do right by their veteran captain and send him to the team of his choice, rumblings suggest the Panthers might instead be the team to beat.

- There is still plenty of time for the race to change, and we may still be in the 'posturing' stage. Philadelphia GM Chuck Fletcher is intent on conducting a proper bidding war, and to reveal which team or teams Giroux prefers playing for could hurt that pursuit. It's going to be a very interesting week in Philly.
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