The fifth-year pro and Hart Trophy hopeful was named the 19th captain in Philadelphia Flyers history (and 18th man to hold the post) on Tuesday. Giroux takes over the captaincy from Chris Pronger, who remains unofficially retired and will likely spend the rest of his career on the LTIR, where he cannot be bought out using a compliance buyout.
“Claude is the undisputed leader of this team,” Flyers GM Paul 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.”
Giroux, just 25 years old, continues his ascent to becoming one of the top players in the NHL. In his short time with the Flyers, the Hearst, Ontario native has shown a knack for big plays and vocal leadership both on and off the ice.
Giroux led the Flyers in points last year with 93 (28 G, 65A) as well as spending time on the power play and penalty kill. He added 17 points in 10 playoff games.
Many point to his performance in last year’s first round series against the Penguins — particularly the opening shift of a clinching Game 6, where he dominated Pens captain Sidney Crosby and scored the first goal of the afternoon — as the events which proved he could handle the responsibility.
“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.”
Below is a brief history of the captaincy:
Lou Angotti (1967-68)
Ed Van Impe (1968-73)
Bobby Clarke (1973-79)
Mel Bridgman (1979-81)
Bill Barber (1981-December 1982)
Bobby Clarke (December 1982-84)
Dave Poulin (1984-December 1989)
Ron Sutter (December 1989-91)
Rick Tocchet (1991-February 1992)
No captain (1992-93)
Kevin Dineen (1993-94)
Eric Lindros (1994-March 2000)
Eric Desjardins (March 2000-October 2001)
Keith Primeau (October 2001-06)
Derian Hatcher (2006)
Peter Forsberg (2006-February 2007)
Jason Smith (2007-08)
Mike Richards (2008-11)
Chris Pronger (2011-12)