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Trade closer? Avs sent assistant GM to Philly

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Colorado Avalanche assistant GM Chris MacFarland trade deadline

The Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers are checking each other out again. The Flyers had a pro scout at Thursday’s Avs game in Arizona, and for the second straight game, Avs assistant GM Chris MacFarland was in attendance scouting a Flyers contest.

Gentlemen, start your Claude Giroux rumors again.

Word out of Philly, though, is Giroux really wants to play his 1,000th game with the Flyers, which is March 17. That might be OK with the Avs, though, as they will accrue more salary-cap space with each passing day of the regular season, assuming they stay reasonably healthy. And, the Avs pretty much have the Central Division and Western Conference regular-season playoff crowns wrapped up already.

One team to keep an eye out for, I hear: Seattle Kraken. Why? Because, I’m told, the Kraken will facilitate a third-party deal or two by the deadline, to serve something as an off-shore tax shelter to park half-eaten cap space on a player. If the Flyers took half of Giroux’s $8.25 million cap hit in a deal, and he comes to Seattle as a third-party, the Kraken could then eat another half of the remaining $4.12 remaining cap hit. The Avs theoretically might get Giroux for a little more than $2 million cap hit.

MacFarland’s presence for two straight Flyers games can’t be easily dismissed. It seems pretty clear the Avs are really checking Giroux out. If he came to the Avs, he would probably be a second-line left wing, and take faceoffs on the right side of the circle, where he is an ace at winning draws.

I’ve heard the Flyers would seriously consider a package containing either young prospect defensemen Drew Helleson or Justin Barron. A depth roster player and another mid-range draft pick might get a deal for Giroux done.

Giroux is 34 and can be UFA this summer. He was named the most valuable player of the most recent NHL All-Star game.

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