For over a decade, Claude Giroux has been a reliable playmaker and competitor for the Philadelphia Flyers. Not only has he been skating against the best the NHL has to offer night in and night out, at age 34 he now has Father Time peering over his shoulder. Giroux hasn’t flinched when it comes to facing either though, and that shows as he leads the Flyers in scoring during the 2021-22 campaign. Through 33 games, Giroux has racked up 11 goals and 18 assists, nearly reaching a point per game pace with 29 points. Thanks to his efforts, the talented captain of the Flyers has been selected to the 2022 NHL All-Star Game, which takes place in Las Vegas on February 5th.
With his seventh selection as an NHL All-Star, Giroux has passed Hall of Famer Eric Lindros who was selected to six All-Star games as a Flyer. Tied with Bill Barber at seven appearances, the captain now looks up to only Bobby Clarke, who was a nine-time All-Star with the team.
It is no surprise that Giroux is again in competition with Flyers legends for some impressive milestones in franchise history. Earlier this season, Giroux became the team’s record holder for career Power Play points and now has 336. Aside from that, Giroux is second in franchise history in points (887), assists (603), and games played (976). Each of these three records are held by Bobby Clarke, not bad company to be in.
Later this season, Giroux is sure to be honored for playing in his 1,000th game, a feat difficult in itself, even more difficult to do with one team. Though Giroux is in line to make a run at some personal accolades, he is sure to be solely focused on making this Flyers squad competitive during the second half of the season.
Last All-Star Game in a Flyers Jersey?
Though this is a question I don’t personally want to face, it is a realistic one. With a revamped roster thanks to a busy offseason from Chuck Fletcher, this year the Flyers were supposed to get back into the playoffs and make some noise. That goal is looking bleaker and bleaker as the days pass. Now that the Flyers are nearing the midway point of the season and are in 11th place in the Eastern Conference at 13-16-7, it would take a monumental effort from leaders like Giroux to dig this team out of their hole in the standings. Giroux has made such magic happen before, like in the 17-18 season when he was second only to Connor McDavid in points as his 102 points catapulted the Flyers into the playoffs. However, this time around feels a bit different.
Giroux’s contract is set to expire at the end of this season, making him an unrestricted free agent. He has said before that he wants to play his whole NHL career for the Flyers, but looking around at what has taken place this season, I wonder if he thinks a cup is realistic in Philly. Before he loses a step and can still bring All-Star levels of play each night, I would not blame him for signing with a contender in the offseason, though I would hate to see him leave. It’s every player’s dream to hoist the Stanley Cup over their head, and Giroux has yet to do so. Another possibility for an exit would come via a trade during this season, if the Flyers don’t plan on resigning him and look to build the cupboards up again for the future.
One thing is for sure, Giroux has given his all to Philadelphia and has earned each of his seven All-Star selections to date. Whether you love him or hate him, it is hard to deny Giroux’s competitiveness each night and his efforts made to get this Flyers team to the promised land. Before he is out the door, whether that be by way of retirement, trade, or free agency, Giroux will have made an impression on an entire generation of Flyers fans. As this All-Star game could be Giroux’s last in a Flyers jersey, and could even be his last one period, I will be sure to soak it in and enjoy the high-octane action.
By: Jacob Hollamby @Jaqueezyyyy
Photo Credit: NHL.com