Despite the Philadelphia Flyers’ slow start to the season and continuous struggles, captain Claude Giroux has been the most consistent player on the team. Rightfully so, the 33-year-old center has been one of the more positive aspects of the orange and black during this shortened season.
A Flyer Forever
As the captain finishes his 14th season with the Flyers and approaches the last season (2021-22) on his eight-year contract extension, many wonder what Giroux will do. In 2013, the team came to terms with the center on a long-term deal that earned him $66.2 million. All questions were answered in a recent interview after morning skate where he was asked about finishing his career in the City of Brotherly Love. His response, “Yeah, I think when you got a chance to play with one organization your whole career, it’s something to be proud of and this organization has a great reputation and since I’m here they’ve treated me great, so if I can that would be great.”
Giroux has readily presented his desires to stay with the team for the rest of his career, however long that may be. His recent play has shown just that. Even with the team’s 22-20-7 record, he has consistently shown determination to not give up on his team in defiance of the Flyers’ poor efforts. Captain Claude is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve for his team and the city of Philadelphia.
On Sunday, April 25, Giroux put up two goals in the final two minutes of the game sending his team to overtime where they would end up winning in a shootout 4-3 against the New Jersey Devils. In the process, he was able to notch his 850th point, passing Flyers’ alumni Brian Propp on the team’s all-time points list. A huge milestone for the captain who has spent all of his career with the organization, a total of 936 games played to be exact. Not only reaching a milestone within the Flyers franchise but doing so during a season where the team has struggled tremendously. While some Flyers fans may wonder why No. 28 wears the “C” on his sweater, this is just one of many reasons.
The leadership skills acquired over the years have surely assisted Giroux during the hardships the team has faced time and time again. It’s no secret that the Flyers haven’t made much of a dent in any playoff runs since he was given the “C”. Even though, it’s safe to say their captain doesn’t give up without a fight and the numbers don’t lie. In the last five games, he’s tallied three points regardless of the team sitting in sixth place in the MassMutual East Division and slowly seeing their playoff hopes fade away.
After being selected 22nd overall in the 2006 Entry Level Draft, Giroux spent time in Quebec playing with the Gatineau Olympiques and Canada U20. It wasn’t until February 2008 that he made his debut with the team playing alongside former Flyers captain Mike Richards and alternate captain Jeff Carter. In 2013 he was awarded the captaincy after Richards and Carter were traded in what would be a shock to the fans of Philadelphia. He had big shoes to fill after the dynamic duo loved so much by the city of Philadelphia was shipped off to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings. He surely didn’t disappoint as he would finish the first season as Flyers captain with 86 points in 82 games.
Giroux has since gone on to become one of the best in the league at faceoffs holding a 55.4% in faceoff win percentage (FO%). The 33-year-old has also appeared in six NHL All-Star Games (2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019). If only he knew in 2006 that he would be with the team for 14 seasons, eight of which he would lead as captain.
As the captain begins to see the backside of his career his play shows just that. Specifically, this season in particular Giroux has shown a fight like we haven’t seen in quite some time. He battles for the puck harder, takes more opportunities to shoot the puck, and seems motivated like never before. The leader of the orange and black is thirsty for the Stanley Cup and it shows.
While some fans may still be asking, why re-sign him? Beyond the fact that he will do anything to lead his team and city to a Stanley Cup, his transitional phase will be beneficial to the up-and-coming players. As a center with 14 years experience, Giroux will continue to grow into a well-seasoned veteran who will be able to guide the young guns, a Patrick Marleau if you will. Captain Claude brings a lot to the table, but as time goes on he will prove to be a valuable asset the team will benefit from in the years to come.
A 24-year-old Drexel University graduate with a deep love and passion for the game of hockey. Bri grew up around the game, watching the Philadelphia Flyers as a little girl and playing street hockey. It was early on that she knew she was destined to work in sports, more specifically in hockey. Bri spent two seasons working for the Flyers as a Public Relations Game Day Intern. For more on me, check out my website, and be sure to keep up with my work here at THW!