Philadelphia Flyers’ Captaincy Case Part 1: Claude Giroux
Last season Claude Giroux was the player who made the Philadelphia Flyers get up and go. Giroux’s coming out party had to be in the first round of the playoffs where he showed that he has the potential to be the best player in the NHL. His play was unbelievable. 17 points in 10 games is phenomenal. Though the Flyers’ playoff run ended quite short of expectations, the NHL fell witness to the bright future of Philadelphia hockey.
When Flyers’ captain, Chris Pronger, went down with an injury earlier in the season, Flyers’ fans thought the team had lost their voice on the ice, their enforcer, and their quarterback on the power play. Pronger made everyone better on the ice. Giroux along with his teammates such as Jaromir Jagr felt the need to take control of the team. They began to play better but they also struggled, which is all apart of a long season. Jagr helped groom Giroux into the player that broke out even more this season in more ways than one. Giroux was taught to practice hard, condition, and be a leader. All three things are what Jagr has done his whole career. The humble veteran helped a young gun become one of the best players in hockey and more than capable to lead a team on his own.
First, Giroux has the grit and determination to be a captain in a city that loves gritty players. Philadelphia is a city where the fans want the best night in and night out. They will boo when they are upset, but they will honor your efforts if you truly try. The fans in Philly truly understand the game and the way it is supposed to be played. Giroux plays the game the right way. He hits hard, he thinks pass first, and he also speaks positively about his teammates. The city loves players like that.
Second, Giroux is young. This means that he can be a captain for a long time in this league. He could be the next face of the Philadelphia Flyers, if he isn’t already.
Finally, Giroux is still developing. Believe it or not, he is going to get even better because of the veterans that he has played with for the past couple of seasons. In 2008-2009, Giroux played 42 games for the big club. In those games, he scored 27 points. Not bad for a 21-yr old. The next season Giroux was one of the key playoff performers for the Flyers in their run to the Stanley Cup Finals. He scored 10 goals in 23 games but had 21 points in those games. His shot percentage that run was 21.3% which is identical to his percentage in this years playoffs.
If Giroux can continue to play at this level or at an even higher level, the Flyers are going to win a lot of games and maybe even a Stanley Cup. In order to develop more, the only thing to do is get out there to practice and play at a high level. Because of the aforementioned reasons, I believe Giroux is capable of being the Flyers next captain. We do not know when the Flyers will name a captain or not, but what we know now is that Giroux carries the qualities a captain should have.
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