October 09, 2015
In Jan. 2013, Claude Giroux was named the 19th captain in Philadelphia Flyers history. It’s been a tumultuous time sporting the “C” with the team missing the playoffs in 2012-13 and 2014-15, though.
After a two-game road-trip to start the 2015-16 season – they faced the Tampa Bay Lightning last night and will face the Florida Panthers on Saturday – the orange and black will host their first home game of the 2015-16 season when those same Panthers come to town Monday.
Giroux's playing career features accolades a plenty (junior-hockey playoff MVP and champion; Flyers’ top point scorer in three seasons; third most points in the NHL in seasons), but challenges loom for the captain.
Some pundits think the Flyers will struggle to make the playoffs this year, what with a roster similar to last season's taking its lead from rookie head coach Dave Hakstol, who comes to town after an 11-year run at the helm of the University of North Dakota men’s ice-hockey team. (Hey numerologists: He’s the franchise’s 19th head coach.)
After Tuesday’s practice at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees (NJ), PhillyVoice caught up with Giroux in the locker room for a quick chat on the eve of the first-line center’s eighth season with the team.
Excluding "Slapshot," which would be my answer to the question I'm about to ask you, what is the best hockey movie of all time?
I think "Mighty Ducks" is up there. You’ve seen "Mighty Ducks," right? Growing up, that was the movie to watch for us, so it’s got to be "Mighty Ducks."
How is Philly different from where you grew up in Hearst, Ontario (Canada)? And, besides yourself or any of your teammates, who is your favorite Flyer of all-time?
Oh, where I grew up, it’s about a 6,000-person population, so that’s a neighborhood [in Philly], really. Obviously, it’s a different culture, but it’s fun to be here.
[My favorite Flyer] is a good question. I’d probably say, it’s hard not to say, Bobby Clarke. He’s done a lot for this organization. Without him, I don’t think this organization would be where it’s at right now.
Take me back to the 2012 playoffs. Specifically, the game when you knocked Penguins captain Sidney Crosby to the ice and scored a goal less than one minute into the first period. Do you remember much of what was going on in your mind before, during or after the hit and goal? After all, it was a quintessentially Flyers moment.
Everything happened pretty quickly. It was a pretty good moment. I really don’t remember much about what I was thinking then, but I know that Flyers fans bring it up to me a lot.
What would you be doing with yourself if you weren’t playing hockey in the NHL?
I think it’d be something sports related, any type of sports. I’d want to do something I liked, so that’d be it. Any particular sport? Obviously, hockey is one [of the sports I like]. I like a lot of sports, but I’d have to say I’d be doing something involving hockey.
What’s it going to take for the team to have a successful season this year?
We have to stay together. We’re a young team, but we want to learn, and we want to learn by trying hard. I think that when you have kind of attitude, you can only get better.