The Flyers are skating right along to Training Camp for the upcoming season. This season is not a season of rebuild. It appears it’s a season of redemption. Redemption of making it out of the first round of the playoffs. More importantly, Claude Giroux’s time to show the hockey world and the Philadelphia Radio stations that last season was no fluke. Giroux will once again have to prove that he was indeed snubbed for a nomination for the Hart Trophy. We should start singing a song, “Welcome Back Kotter,” by John Sebastian for Giroux. The resurgent Giroux is back, and he will try to guide this young Flyers team to stardom in 2018-19. With that being said, is Giroux one of the most underrated/undervalued player in Philly Sports? Here’s a look at some tweets from this past Summer following his 102 point season:
After his -10 performance in the playoffs and criticism of the fans, what should the Flyers do with Claude Giroux?
— WIP Morning Show (@WIPMorningShow) April 26, 2018
Top three athletes in Philly right now:
1. Joel Embiid
2. Aaron Nola
3. Carson Wentz
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) August 23, 2018
Flyers get 2 players inside NHL 19 top 50 player
— HockeyIceStorm.com (@HockeyIceStorm) August 29, 2018
NHL is ridiculous always disrespectIng Flyers players??
102 Pts 2nd in NHL guess that’s just normal for players!!!
— Jerry Pagano (@jpcowboys) August 29, 2018
At the ripe age of 18, Giroux was drafted 22nd overall by the Flyers in 2006. His hard-work and dedication finally paid off in a big way, as it was always his dream to play in the NHL. Moreover, 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 that breakout season, Giroux’s numbers 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. Giroux knew he had to be better in order for the Flyers to redeem themselves from missing the playoffs the year prior. Unfortunately, Giroux had a tough off-season in 2016-17 before the World Cup of Hockey. He went under the knife for hip surgery, as well as, surgery to repair a sports hernia.
Giroux managed to come back before the World Cup of Hockey began that September. However, it became evident that Giroux was not 100% at the time the tournament began. Moreover, his off-season surgeries really showed throughout the course of the 2016-17 season. It was clear Giroux was definitely not Giroux.
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It’s no secret that Giroux is the engine that runs the Flyers. As Giroux goes, so does the Flyers. He of course wanted to rebound from a down year, and prove to his critics that he is still a quality center in the NHL in 2017-18. Well, Giroux did just that, as he was nothing short of fantastic (Finally 100%). For the season, Giroux registered 34 goals, 68 assists, and was a whopping plus 28. Yes, I said it a crazy plus 28. It shows he did things right on the ice. Giroux is a team first guy, and that was evident with moving to the wing.
Let’s take this a step further. Giroux finished second in the league in scoring with 102 points, but finished fourth in the Hart Trophy Race (MVP). If Giroux wasn’t on the Flyers they probably wouldn’t have finished third in the Division, rather they would have been bottom feeders in the NHL. Moreover, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, and Jakub Voracek all had career years thanks in large part to Giroux. Where’s the respect? He should have at least finished in the top three in voting for the Hart Trophy.
With the recent resurgence of the top line that included Giroux, it made the orange and black that much tougher to beat. He is one of the most unselfish players in the locker room, and as Giroux goes so does the Flyers. So even after his career year, while placing the Flyers on his back into the playoffs. Why doesn’t Giroux get the respect the deserves throughout the NHL, and Philly Sports Radio stations? I mean according to Quanthockey.com, the top 10 players in point totals for the past 7 seasons in the NHL are:
1- Sidney Crosby- 544
2- Claude Giroux- 527
3- Patrick Kane- 525
4- Evgeni Malkin- 512
5- Alexander Ovechkin- 508
6- John Tavares- 500
7- Jamie Benn- 499
8- Phil Kessel- 496
9- Tyler Seguin- 483
10- Blake Wheeler- 478
To the Philly Sports Radio Stations and the NHL, “Hello Mcfly,” what more can Giroux do to finally start receiving some hard earned respect. Moreover, after interviewing Giroux during Training Camp last year. Giroux had this to say to the fans, “Just keep doing what you’re doing. The team is getting better.” Well, they sure did thanks in large part to Giroux.
Some say he’s not clutch in the playoffs. However, Giroux has tallied 24 goals, chipped in 41 assists, and is a plus 3 for his career in the playoffs (65 points in 69 games played). Do they forget one of the best shifts from the 2011-12 playoffs against the Pittsburgh Penguins:
This stud in Giroux is leading the Flyers to the promised land. If he doesn’t start garnering the respect that he deserves throughout the NHL, and the Philly Sports Radio Stations. He might go down as one of the most underrated/undervalued athletes in Philadelphia sports history.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports