June 24, 2006.
It is a day that, at the time, few recognized as an important day for the Philadelphia Flyers. However, it has turned out to be a franchise-altering day. On that day in Vancouver, with the twenty-second overall pick in the NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers selected a player from the Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL – a center named Claude Giroux.
Since then, Giroux has carved out nothing short of a legendary career wearing the Orange and Black. He is second all-time in points and assists, behind only Bobby Clarke in both categories. He is first in powerplay points. He is eighth in franchise goals, recently passing Eric Lindros. He has been the face of the franchise for over ten years. He is the longest-tenured captain in team history. All of that brings us to March 17, 2022, when he will hit another incredible milestone. He will play his 1,000th game as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers, becoming the 71st person in NHL history to play 1,000 games with one franchise, and joins Bobby Clarke as the only other Flyer to achieve such a feat.
It is incredibly difficult to adequately capture what Claude Giroux has meant to the Philadelphia Flyers over the last thousand games. In the fourteen years G has played for the Flyers, there have been countless moments where we have witnessed his brilliance. His highlight-reel goals consistently garner the loudest cheers from fans. He is the definition of a leader, the heart and soul of the team, and the true embodiment of what it means to be a Philadelphia Flyer. Personally, Claude Giroux is the reason I started watching the Flyers in the first place, and the reason I fell in love with this sport. He always has been and always will be my favorite hockey player. There will never be another player in Flyers history like Giroux.
Throughout his career, Giroux has always worn the winged ‘P’ with pride, and has done everything the Flyers have asked him to and more. With Giroux’s contract expiring at the end of the year, there is a strong possibility that Giroux is traded at the deadline this year, a mere four days after playing his 1,000th game as a Flyer. There is a chance he may return, but if this indeed is the last we see of no. 28, it is truly the end of an era. Nobody has done more for the Philadelphia Flyers over the last two decades, both on and off the ice, than Claude Giroux. Thank you, G, for everything.
By: Katie Bogan (@Cl4udegiroux)
Image credit to NBC Sports Philadelphia