A Goodbye to Claude Giroux

Katie: Claude Giroux is the greatest Flyer I have ever had the privilege of watching with my own eyes. Since joining the Orange and Black, he has worn the Flyers jersey with pride and he is one of the greatest Flyers of all-time. I feel very lucky to have been able to witness his career. Congrats on 1,000 games, G.

Noah: Much like Katie, Claude Giroux is the greatest Flyer I’ve gotten to watch. I started watching hockey during the 2005-06 season, and Claude has been here since the end of that season, and for me, this has always been his team. Even when all of the players I loved and got me into hockey and the Flyers as a kid left, Claude Giroux was there. Congratulations on 1,000 games, you mean so much to the Philadelphia sports scene.

Kevin: Giroux may not have taken the Flyers to a championship, but he has accomplished a lot in 1,000 games. It’s not easy being a star pro athlete in Philly, especially when you carry an entire team on your back for a decade and Giroux makes it look natural. It’s been fun to watch Giroux from his first game in a Flyers uniform until now. He always gives everything he has and leaves it all out on the ice even when there is little hope of winning. Claude will always be one of the greatest Flyers ever no matter what the future holds. Congrats on 1,000 games G!

Manny:  It is such an accomplishment to play 1,000 games for one franchise.  Congratulations to Claude Giroux for the many moments that got us cheering for our Philadelphia Flyers.  In particular, the most impactful moment for me was on April 6th, 2018 in the Flyers final regular season game against the New York Rangers.  Giroux was sitting on 99 points with the team needing to win in order to clinch a playoff birth.  The Flyers not only won that game 5-0, but Giroux recorded his first ever regular season hat-trick to finish with 32 goals and 102 points (the first Flyer since the Big E to reach that mark).  With so much on the line against a division rival, Claude brought his ‘A’ game and willed a team into the playoffs.  Hearing the fans loudly chanting “M-V-P” gave me goosebumps and I thoroughly remember joining the chant from my living room.  To this day, I still can’t believe that he finished 4th in Hart Trophy voting and was not a finalist when he clearly was deserving of the honor.  For a long time, Claude has been the best kept secret in the NHL.  Take a bow and enjoy the night’s festivities with your family, friends, and teammates.  You deserve it.  

Brian: Giroux was the first player I ever really got to see from the start of his career to his rise into stardom, and onward. He has been one of the few bright spots of the past decade of Flyers hockey, often being the one pulling the team back from the brink of defeat. I’ll never forget his version of “The Shift” in 2012, decking Sidney Crosby in front of his own bench and ripping a wrister past Fleury, effectively letting everyone know that the series was over. Whatever the future holds for Claude, Ryanne, Gavin, and Palmer, whether it’s here in Philly or elsewhere, I hope for nothing but the happiest of times. Everyone raise a grilled cheese in honor of our captain!

Mike: I’ll remember Giroux more so for my interactions with him off the ice. When I lived in Olde City (yes, the “e” is stupid), every football Sunday for about five years I’d go with the same group of friends to what is in my opinion the best sports bar in he country: Buffalo Billards on 2nd and Chesnut Streets. For the first ~two years I went, Giroux and probably four to five of his teammates also made going to this bar their Sunday afternoon football ritual. Hartnell, Voracek, and a cast of others.  There is an area for darts near one end of the bar and my group would frequently set up there right next to Giroux and his group and we’d hang out, throw some darts, and watch the Eagles. This was before all these players were married.  Voracek showed up all the time looking like Napoleon Dynamite, wearing Umbro shorts with shower sandals–certainly not dressing to impress. Hartnell did have a habit of zeroing in and talking to my friend’s wife quite often.  A lot of cheap beer and wings had by all.  It was a fun time to see those guys there almost every weekend and Giroux was the nicest guy out of all of the players.  We didn’t really talk much about hockey at all, just kind of hung out. I appreciated those times.  Thanks, G. 

Jacob: What does Claude Giroux mean to me? Well, when it comes to hockey, he means absolutely everything. Watching Giroux play 1,000 games for the Orange and Black has been a privilege and a gift. I was just 8 years old when Giroux made his NHL debut and sitting here at 22 years old, it is incredible to see what our captain has done for one franchise. It is rare that a pro athlete has such a combination of skill, heart, competitiveness, and loyalty. With those traits and many more, Claude Giroux encapsulates what it means to be a Flyer, period. Without Giroux, I may have never found such a passion for the game I’ve come to love. There’s a special place in my heart for Giroux because his career has spanned from my childhood through college graduation. Over that time span, G has shattered franchise records and joined the conversation in All-Time Flyers greats. Giroux is an icon for an entire generation of Flyers fans, and that is something special. No matter what plans are in place for Giroux’s future, he will always be a Flyer, and he has given us all memories that will last a lifetime. 

By: Noah Caplan (@Phlyers24), Katie Bogan (@cl4udegiroux), Kevin Thaete (@BigKT23), Manny Benevides (@mannybenevides), Mike Aceto (@Flyer_AF), Jacob Hollamby (@Jaqueezyyyy), and Brian Adams (@BadamsProblems)
Photo creds: @NHLFlyers on Twitter

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