Will the real Philadelphia Flyers please stand up?! The 2017-18 NHL season couldn’t begin soon enough. Hockey addicts across the Philadelphia region are pumped, and they can’t wait for the season to get started already. Remember the good old days of the Flyers being impatient? Those days are long gone…history, zip, zilch.
The new and improved Flyers organization now headed by General Manager Ron Hextall has revolutionized the once cap constrained franchise. In just three short years, Hextall has preached patience with the young prospects, and has freed the Flyers from cap problems that have plagued them for many years. Finally, the City of Philadelphia can now see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully the end result will be with a parade down Broad St. in a few years.
There are many players on the current Flyers roster that have a lot to prove this coming season. If these players do not improve from prior years, then the end result might be a young prospect taking their spot on the roster in the near future. From now until training camp opens, we will produce one article per week highlighting a Flyers player with the most prove for the upcoming season. First up, Forward Claude Giroux.
Giroux was born January 12, 1988, in Hearst, Ontario, CAN. The Flyers drafted him 22nd overall in the 2006 NHL Draft. Giroux made his NHL debut for the Flyers in February of 2008 against the Ottawa Senators. He didn’t record a single point in that game, but he made quite an impression. Giroux was able to join the Flyers roster full-time midway through the 2008-09 season.
The young prospect at the time, Giroux showcased his skills when his dream of playing in the NHL came true in the 2008-09 season. He razzled and dazzled opponents as he proved to the Flyers top brass that he belonged in the NHL. At times his moves were slick, but it was his puck handling skills that took him over the top. Giroux led the Flyers to a first round playoff loss against the hated Pittsburgh Penguins. He finished the season with 9 goals, and 18 assists for a total of 27 points in 42 games played.
It wasn’t until the 2009-10 season, that a star in Giroux was forming between our eyes. He had a lethal shot, and that was indicated in his stats for the season. Giroux finished the season with 16 goals, and 31 assists for a total of 47 points in 82 games played.
At age 23, Giroux enjoyed a career year with 93 points in 2011-12, thanks in large part to being paired with the “Ageless Wonder,” Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell. For his accomplishments, Giroux finished third in the league in point scoring.
Since then Giroux’s numbers have slowly dipped each season. For the 2015-16 season Giroux produced 67 points in 78 games played. Moreover, for the 2016-17 season Giroux produced 58 points in 82 games played, while only managing to score a measly 14 goals. Here’s a chart of Giroux’s stats. Goals are the first number indicated on the chart, followed by assists.
Giroux has averaged nearly a point per game for his career. For his career he has tallied 180 goals, and 395 assists for a total of 575 points in 656 games played. Not too shabby, as he is only 81 points of averaging a point per game. Even though his stats are good, he doesn’t shoot enough. Giroux often finds himself passing on shots, and it makes it seem like he is uncertain of himself at times.
“The Captain” Giroux is the engine that runs the Flyers. As Giroux goes, the Flyers go. He has a world of talent, and he will be the first one to admit he has to be better. Especially after only registering 14 goals last season.
Make no mistake about it, Giroux can rebound this season. Consistency will be the key for him. However, he has the goods and the will to be a very good player for the Flyers this season. If Giroux does in fact have a rebound season watch out NHL. The Flyers could be a lethal team this year.
Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports