Unappreciated: The Story of Claude Giroux
14 years into his professional career, Captain Claude Giroux has cemented himself into Philadelphia Flyers history as one of the best to take the ice.
Since being drafted 22nd overall in the 2006 draft, Claude Giroux has not only been the best player for the Flyers, but one of the best players in the league. Since entering the NHL he has scored over 809 points in 882 games played and is now 4th all-time in points in Flyers history. G is also the Flyers all-time leader in power-play assists with 235, surpassing Philly legend Bobby Clarke. Claude has now worn the captain’s “C” in 572 career games which are second to, you guessed it, Bobby Clarke with 610. A number he’s sure to surpass even this year pending a deep playoff run by the boys in orange in black.
Giroux’s willingness to do whatever it takes to win is easily comparable to the same attributes of Bobby Clarke.
So why use the term unappreciated? A player of this stature MUST be praised and beloved from South Philly all the way to Ardmore! This, however, is not the case. In fact, G gets more praise nationally than he does here in Philadelphia, Which is the complete opposite of every other star athlete in this city. Last April the Flyers dismissed former head coach Dave Hakstol and brought in former Canucks and Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault. This was a move that was a long time coming, the team looked a half step (skate?) slower than every other team they played. The Flyers’ new coach spoke on his first conversation with the captain, “When I met him the first time, it was here in Ottawa this past summer, he talked to me about his legacy,” Vigneault said. “He didn’t like his legacy with the Flyers. He wants to make sure he leaves a legacy where the team had won.”
The only thing that seems to be standing in the way of Giroux’s path to hockey immortality is Lord Stanley’s cup. An elusive albatross that coach Vigneault has also been unable to grasp. “[Giroux] and I hit it off right away by him telling me that he wants to win and that he will do whatever it takes to win,” Vigneault said. “Right off the hop, he was very open — maybe because my track record is missing the Stanley Cup.” A cup for this 2020 Flyers squad might be a tall task, but the future is looking bright for these bullies of Broad Street. Whether he lifts a cup or not, Claude Giroux will go down as one of the best to don the orange and black. I know in my book, he’ll go down as my favorite to play in this city.