April 18, 2017
Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is coming off the most disappointing season of his career with just 14 goals and 58 points. Giroux admitted towards the end of the year that he was not completely comfortable after offseason surgery, but that will not stop the speculation that his best years are behind him.
"I don't think 'G' had a great year, but he's not on the decline," general manager Ron Hextall said of Giroux last Thursday. "I know this: I'll be shocked next year if you guys don't ask me in January how has 'G' turned this around? He's a very driven athlete. Very driven. I know he's going to train hard this year. We're going to make some minor tweaks in how he trains. He trains hard, but can he train smarter? Yeah. That's an area we're going to work on this summer, to have our guys train hard but put a few more wrinkles in."
While Hextall still has confidence in Giroux returning to his old form next season, others are not so sure. Sam Carchidi of The Inquirer recently talked to a prominent NHL scout about the Flyers captain and what he had to say was not as encouraging as Hextall’s statement.
While he said that Giroux is no longer an elite player, he still has plenty of worth to the team:
"Every player has faults, and there's a little bit of disappointment in his game. But you have to be careful because if you have a guy scoring 60, 70 points in your lineup, he's pretty darn valuable. He's one of the best power-play guys in the league, and that's a major asset. So even if he's not scoring a ton at even strength, you still need a strong power play. Without a good power play, the Flyers probably have 10 points less.
"In today's game, the power play is extremely important."
Do you think Claude Giroux will rebound next season or has he already played his best hockey?