What more can be said about the Flyers organization at this point in the regular season? We know they’re terrible, there’s no motivation or energy on the ice as this crew can’t seem to score and help during games their team MVP goalie Steve Mason. They stink.
However, Claude Giroux, the one player on this team dubbed as the next great Flyer who also happens to be the captain of this floundering ship, hasn’t provided a lick of leadership to date. As fans, we should all be extremely peeved. Take a listen to our podcast show from this week and listen to how much time we spent on the Flyers (just around 1 minute). The team and Giroux didn’t even deserve that.
What’s most enraging is the huge contract that Giroux was given this past summer. We’re all shaking our head. It was an 8-year extension deal worth over $66.2 million. The Flyers organization was either blindly swindled or just plain imprudent thinking this guy would be the savior for this organization. Around this time, Len mentioned on a PST podcast show that he was concerned about this contract and the future play of Giroux due to his game being “off” last season. The question was; do we really know if he’s the guy or not?
Of course, hindsight is 20/20 and, frankly, I was excited when this deal happened. Maybe I shouldn’t be so harsh, because others bought into the “Giroux is our savior” notion as well. Here’s a quote from SB Nation’s Broad Street Hockey column from July:
“He’s probably not the best player in the world, but here’s the reality about Claude Giroux: he’s a point-per-game-plus center who can log huge minutes in all situations, play good defense, and provide leadership for this team. That’s a skill set worth a lot of money in this league.”
Right now, he’s worth a cheeseburger and milkshake; if that. He seems to be abandoning his team; and not just because he hasn’t scored a goal all season. Is he playing well in all situations? No. Playing good defense? No, that’s not happening. Providing leadership for this team? No, that’s not happening either.
After their home game against the Devils this week where they lost 3-0, the press corps waited to hear what the captain was going to say. Of course, Giroux was going to be pummeled. The Philly press was going to bombard and assail him (what else is new). It really sucked to be him last night, and I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to skate on those blades during the game or walk in his shoes after that loss. However, when a player signs a contract worth $66.2 million (highest paid player on the team) just a few months ago, and he’s the captain and anointed leader of the men in the locker room, then he *must* stay after the game and get pounded by the press. That is his responsibility.
Giroux’s lack of leadership hit a pinnacle last night when he walked out of the building on his teammates, leaving them to fend for themselves. The captain just skirted out the Wells Fargo Center. As captain, Giroux should be the glue that holds the team and the locker room together as they continue to try to find chemistry, which is so important in this game. It doesn’t seem like that’ll be happening anytime soon. A disgrace? Absolutely.