The Philadelphia Flyers today named Claude Giroux the 19th captain in the franchise’s history, according to general manager Paul Holmgren. In addition, Holmgren announced that Kimmo Timonen will serve as associate captain, while Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere will serve as alternate captains.
“Claude is the undisputed leader of this team,” Holmgren said in making the announcement. “He always exhibits a tremendous work ethic in games and practices. He is a great professional both on and off the ice. Claude has learned a lot over the past few years playing with Mike Richards, Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger, just to name a few. Having played with these athletes has been a huge benefit for Claude.”
“Basically, we have some veterans who are really solid guys and have been captains and could be captains, but I think they realize along with us that this is Claude’s time,” said Flyers chairman Ed Snider. “He is our leader and without a doubt our best player, and is one of the premier players in the NHL right now. I am very proud of him and I think this is only the beginning of a phenomenal, phenomenal career.”
“That powerful shift Claude had against Pittsburgh in last year’s playoffs is a prime example of the kind of leader he is both on and off the ice,” said Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko. “He is a true leader and very deserving of being named captain of this team.”
“Claude has put himself in this position by demonstrating excellent leadership qualities both on and off the ice,” said Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette. “Every day he practices and plays games like he wants to make a difference. After watching him grow for three-plus years, it’s now time for Claude to become the captain of this team.”
“We’re fortunate to have a strong leadership group in our locker room,” Laviolette added. “With Kimmo Timonen as associate captain and Scott Hartnell and Danny Briere as assistant captains, we’re confident we have the right people in place to lead this team.”
“Obviously, this is a huge honor,” Giroux said. “There have been a lot of great captains here in the past. Along with this comes a lot of responsibility which I am prepared for. Being named captain is not really going to change the way I play on the ice and act off the ice. But I am very excited about this opportunity.”
Giroux, 25 (1/12/1988), is entering his fifth full season with the Flyers, and also played two games during the 2007-08 season. He is coming off one of the best individual seasons for a Flyer in the last 15 years. Giroux posted 28 goals and 65 assists for 93 points last season, the most points by a Flyer since Eric Lindros had 93 points in 1998-99 and the most assists by a Flyer since Lindros posted 68 in 1995-96. It was the 9th-best regular season assist total in Flyers history. Giroux became just the fourth Flyer ever to record 50 or more assists in consecutive seasons, joining Bobby Clarke (8 seasons, 1972-1980), Brian Propp (3 seasons, 1983-86) and Mark Recchi (2 seasons twice). Giroux finished third in the NHL in scoring and led the league in power play scoring with 38 points (6G, 32A).
Giroux followed up with an equally stellar postseason, recording eight goals and nine assists for 17 points in 12 playoff games. Fourteen of those points came in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Pittsburgh, which was the second-highest point total in a playoff series in franchise history.
Giroux was selected by the Flyers in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. In 285 career games, Giroux has 78 goals and 165 assists for 243 points.
Source: Philadelphia Flyers Media