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Star forward Claude Giroux, 34, signs three-year deal with Ottawa Senators

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What Claude Giroux brings to the Senators (1:08)

Brian Boucher and Kevin Weekes believe Claude Giroux's veteran leadership will be an asset to the Senators. (1:08)

Star forward Claude Giroux signed a three-year free agent deal with the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday.

Giroux, 34, will make $6.5 million annually against the salary cap. The Senators have been linked to Giroux for months, as he lived in the city as a teenager and played minor hockey in the area.

"I wouldn't sign here if I didn't think we had a chance to win the Cup,'' Giroux said. "I'm not saying we're going to win the Cup this year, but the plan is to build on it and have baby steps for that.''

The most notable name to change teams at the NHL trading deadline, Giroux fit in nicely with the Florida Panthers after the emotional trade from the Philadelphia Flyers, where he was the longtime captain.

Giroux, who had three goals and 23 points while averaging 18:33 time on ice in 18 regular-season games for the Panthers, worked on both the first and second lines, and all the pieces seemed in place for high-powered Florida -- the Presidents' Trophy winner for most points in the regular season -- to make an elusive run to the Eastern Conference finals, if not more.

But after dispatching the Washington Capitals in six games in Round 1, the Panthers ran into a wall in the form of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who swept the No. 1 seed right out of the postseason in Round 2. Florida scored just three goals that entire series. Overall in the playoffs, in 10 games, Giroux authored three goals and eight points and was easily one of the better Panthers in the Round 1 victory.

He has lost a step from a skating perspective, but is still one of the better players in the league at sustaining attack-zone time and wearing out opponents. And with a solid, full season in 2022-23, on the right team, he should have an opportunity to top 1,000 points for his career (923), and maybe secure the championship that has eluded him.

"I came to Florida to win a Cup," Giroux said at the team's final media availability after losing to the Lightning. "Obviously, we weren't able to do that. But at the same time, I think we learned a lot from the Washington series and also the Tampa series. We'll see how the next month goes."