The year was 2006. The Philadelphia Flyers had the 22nd overall pick in the NHL Draft. The last time the organization had that selection was in 1998 when the Flyers drafted Simon Gagne, who had an impressive NHL career.
The general manager in 2006 was Bobby Clarke, who wanted to add a high-powered forward to the organization, and with that first-round pick, he selected Claude Giroux from the Gatineau Olympiques of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Giroux had been tearing it up in the QMJHL, putting up numbers like this:
- 2005-06: 39 goals and 64 assists for 103 points in 69 games
- 2006-07: 48 goals and 64 assists for 112 points in 63 games
- 2007-08: 38 goals and 68 assists for 106 points in 55 games
Since his draft day, Giroux has become one of the best Flyers of all time, pouring his blood, sweat, and tears into the organization, their fans, and the Philadelphia community. Recently, he tallied his 800th career point, and I figured it was time to celebrate all he has done for the Orange and Black.
Giroux has put his stamp on the game of hockey in a few different ways. When it comes to the Flyers, he quickly gained the respect of his teammates, coaches, and management; and was considered a leader. He was named captain of the Flyers in 2013, an honor he still holds today.
Once he donned the ‘C’, it didn’t take long for the hockey world to notice that the role fit him pretty well. Giroux is someone younger guys can learn from in multiple ways. He is not afraid to stick up for his teammates, and it does not matter who he goes up against in order to do that. It could be against Sidney Crosby, or it could be against a well-known enforcer in the league.
He leads by example both on and off the ice. He puts in the hard work with drills and in the gym, and the younger players want to emulate him. He can be a mentor for these players who are just coming into the NHL.
Coaches and front office regimes have come and gone, while Giroux still wears the ‘C’. It shows how well-respected Giroux is. It is not just his team that appreciates what he does for them, but knowledgeable hockey people outside of the team as well. The type of leader he is cannot be denied, which is why he has been captain and one of the more dominant players on the team for so long.
He set career highs in goals, assists, and points in 2017-18, with 34 goals and 68 assists. In today’s game it’s difficult to hit the 100-point plateau, and to do it once shows the caliber of talent the Flyers have had with Giroux. Only a few Flyers have hit that mark.
He has scored 40-plus assists eight times and surpassed 60 assists three times. His overall stats with the Flyers in the regular season (up until 2019-20) are as follows:
- 2007-08: No points in 2 games played
- 2008-09: 9 goals and 18 assists for 27 points in 42 games
- 2009-10: 16 goals and 31 assists for 47 points in 82 games
- 2010-11: 25 goals and 51 assists for 76 points in 82 games
- 2011-12: 28 goals and 65 assists for 93 points in 77 games
- 2012-13 (partial lockout): 13 goals and 35 assists for 48 points in 48 games
- 2013-14: 28 goals and 58 assists for 86 points in 82 games
- 2014-15: 25 goals and 48 assists for 73 points in 81 games
- 2015-16: 22 goals and 45 assists for 67 points in 78 games
- 2016-17: 14 goals and 44 assists for 58 points in 82 games
- 2017-18: 34 goals and 68 assists for 102 points in 82 games
- 2018-19: 22 goals and 63 assists for 85 points in 82 games
For the 2019-20 season (through 59 games) he has scored 16 goals and 28 assists.
Giroux has also been a force in the postseason and helped lead the Flyers to seven playoff berths. During the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, when the Flyers took on Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and the Chicago Blackhawks, Giroux made an impact. While the outcome did not turn out well, it was another leap that Giroux made in his own individual skill path. To this day, his stats for the 2010 playoffs remain his personal postseason high.
He notched 21 points during that run in 2010, with four of those coming in the Stanley Cup Final (two goals and two assists). He even had a three-point outing in Game 3, scoring the overtime winner against Blackhawks goalie Antti Niemi.
Giroux also made headlines during the 2012 playoff series against their Pennsylvania rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, when he set the franchise record for the most points in a playoff game with six, netting a hat trick and three assists.
In the postseason, Giroux has contributed both offensively and as a leader. He was another asset the team could rely on in clutch situations, complementing teammates like former Flyers captain Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Danny Briere, and Scott Hartnell, among others. He has the below numbers during the NHL playoffs:
- 2009: 2 goals and 3 assists in 6 games
- 2010: 10 goals and 11 assists in 23 games
- 2011: 1 goal and 11 assists in 11 games
- 2012: 8 goals and 9 assists for 17 points in 10 games
- 2014: 2 goals and 4 assists in 7 games
- 2016: 1 assist in 6 games
- 2018: 1 goal and 2 assists in 6 games
The Flyers are not the only team Giroux has helped over the years, though. He has also been a force in international tournaments. He helped Team Canada capture gold during the 2008 World Junior Championships, the 2015 World Championships, and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
He was such a big factor in juniors that the Olympiques retired his number 28 in early 2019, showing appreciation for the offensive juggernaut he was there. Besides his individual stats with the club, he played a significant role in the Olympiques winning a President’s Cup.
Giroux has the ability to go on any team and instantly make them better. Even when the NHL was locked out for part of 2012-13, he went overseas (along with Flyer teammate Briere) and was a big factor in the success of Eisbären Berlin of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga. He had four goals and 15 assists for 19 points in just nine games for the club.
Overall, when it comes to representing the Flyers organization, I do not think there is a better player on the current roster than Giroux. His name is woven all throughout the Flyers and their recent history, and for good reason. He is already one of the best to suit up for the franchise in their history.
His 800-career point milestone is just one of the many accomplishments in his career. There are many other achievements that very well could be waiting for him and the Flyers in the near future. Congratulations to Giroux on reaching 800 points. Many more to come.
I have been a hockey fan for most of my life, and have played the game myself for more than six years. I graduated from the State University of New York at Oswego in 2018, with a bachelor’s in Broadcasting & Mass Communication. Previous positions held include being a Sports Analyst for Oswego’s student-run TV station, WTOP-10; News/Sports Intern for WIVB-TV Channel 4; and Sports Beat Writer Intern for Pro Player Insiders.