NHL Talk: Golden Knights, Flyers & Panthers

The daily “NHL Talk” column is your go-to for quotes from players, coaches, managers, and more. Also, listen to THW contributors talk hockey every weekday on The Hockey Writers Podcast, available on iHeartRadio and wherever you listen to podcasts.

In this edition of NHL Talk, the Vegas Golden Knights, Philadelphia Flyers, and Florida Panthers have the best quotes from around the league.

2022 NHL All-Star Weekend a Success for Vegas

The 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend, hosted in Las Vegas from Feb. 4-5, was full of extravagant moments, just like the city wanted it to be. Golden Knights head coach Peter Deboer took charge of Team Pacific, which included three of his own players on its roster; forwards Mark Stone and Jonathan Marchessault, and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo.

Alex Pietrangelo Vegas Golden Knights-NHL Talk: Golden Knights, Flyers & Panthers
Alex Pietrangelo, Vegas Golden Knights (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I just think when you sit back and watch it from a fan perspective, I think the fact that it’s in Vegas allows you to take chances and do things that you wouldn’t normally do as far as the events and production and things,” DeBoer said.

While Team Pacific was knocked out in the opening match of the All-Star Game tournament, Pietrangelo gave something for Golden Knights fans to cheer about, winning the Breakaway Challenge despite missing the net on both of his shot attempts. He spoke about the incredible atmosphere at T-Mobile Arena.

“I think people who haven’t been to a game here can kind of see the environment just in this small sample size, and hopefully that brings them back to maybe spend some time here in the city and get to see a regular-season game or playoff game, because that’s when this city really shines,” Pietrangelo said.

Giroux Named NHL All-Star MVP in Front of Family

Flyers forward Claude Giroux was named NHL All-Star MVP following Team Metropolitan’s victory over Team Central in the Final. He tallied four points (three goals, one assist) in two games with his wife (Ryanne) and oldest son (Gavin) in attendance.

Claude Giroux-NHL Talk: Golden Knights, Flyers & Panthers
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“It was a great weekend, especially spending it with my wife and my oldest [son], Gavin,” Giroux said. “We’ve been doing a lot of cool stuff, just taking it all in. We’re going to stay for one more day, just hang out. It’s been fun so far.”

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While he was putting together stellar performances on the ice, his family cheered him on from the stands. Giroux made sure to look over at them whenever he got the chance.

“Every time during the game I’d look at him and he’d be doing something silly,” Giroux said of his oldest son, Gavin. “I know him and my wife, they had a great time during the game. Obviously when you win MVP it makes it a little bit better.”

Huberdeau More Focused on Panthers, Not NHL Points Lead

Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau leads the NHL with 64 points (17 goals, 47 assists) in 47 games this season. At the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend, he was asked about what it’s like to be the league’s top points-getter. He pushed his personal success to the side and let his team-first mindset shine through.

Jonathan Huberdeau Florida Panthers-NHL Talk: Golden Knights, Flyers & Panthers
Jonathan Huberdeau, Florida Panthers (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

“Obviously, it’s pretty fun [to lead the NHL in points], but, for me personally, this year is about the team,” Huberdeau said. “We’re a really good team; winning a lot of games. When you’re having some points, that means you’re helping the team, and that’s all I want to think about.”

The Panthers rank first place in the NHL with a 32-10-5 record, and he is a major reason why. Even Edmonton Oilers forward Leon Draisaitl, who ranks second in points behind Hubderdeau, is taking notice.

“[Huberdeau] seems to get better every year,” Draisaitl said. “Obviously, this year he’s been amazing, and that whole team has been really good. They have a lot of firepower. It’s very noticeable in terms of how many goals they score.”