Claude GirouxWas it possible to play for the Florida PanthersIt's as much fun as it looks.
He said, “Well, it's winning.” “So, yeah.”
Giroux, aged 34, was a master of classics NHL trade deadline glow-upGo from the draft lottery-bound Philadelphia FlyersTo the Panthers, who won Presidents' trophy for regular season's top record. He moved from the basement to the penthouse and from moroseness into merriment.
He also made a change from a team that averaged 31 goals per match to one that scored 4.11 points per game, which was the highest score for any team since the 1995-1996 season. It can be both exhilarating as well as exhausting to watch a Panthers game, because they are relentless in their offensive play and push the pace.
“You learn how to manage your ice-time.” Giroux recently spoke out to ESPN about when it was time to go and when it was time to rest. It took me quite a few games. It is a fast pace. It's about helping each other and knowing where your colleagues are. It's easier to get used to it. It was certainly an adjustment.
Giroux has made other adjustments since joining Panthers. He's played 18 regular-season and three playoff games. As a way to adjust to a new climate, Giroux had to move down to Sunrise, Florida while Philadelphia was still cold.
He said that “it's nice and warm on the beach so that's what's different” but admitted that he still needs to shop for South Florida clothing.
The biggest change for Giroux? Going from being the face for his franchise to only one for the Panthers.
How does it feel to welcome Claude Giroux into your team at the trade deadline
“For someone who's been in Philly as long as he did, being kinda the face of franchise for a while… it's probably quite hard on him when you go to a new place,” said Panthers interim coach. Andrew Brunette. “But I think that he fits in really well. He arrived with an unselfish heart.”
Giroux made his debut in a NHL locker room in 2008. Philadelphia drafted Giroux 22nd in 2006. He was a promising forward hailing from Gatineau in Quebec Major Junior League. He would be a star with the Flyers for the next 15 years and 1,000 games. He finished 10th among active players as helpers with 900 points and 609 assists. He had 102 points in his best season in Philly and was fourth in Hart Trophy voting 2017-18.
After Giroux outplayed him in 2012, Peter Laviolette, his coach casually called Giroux “the best player of the world”. Sidney CrosbyEliminating the Pittsburgh PenguinsFrom the playoffs — Giroux's hyperbolic claim that Giroux has made throughout his career.
Laviolette said that “he brings a lot different things,” as he is now coaching the Capitals against Giroux and his Panthers in their first round series. He's a high end player. He brings balance and depth to an already powerful attack.”
The departure of Giroux from Philadelphia was a shocker. He was a pending unrestricted, free agent this offseason. His contract contained a complete no-movement clause, which controlled if and to whom Giroux would be traded.
Giroux was able to play in his 1000th career game on St. Patrick's Day. The night turned into a prolonged farewell party. For warm-ups, his teammates wore jerseys with his No. He wore No. 28, his captain's nameplate and the “C” at the front. Giroux made a lap around ice with his teammates to pay respects to the fans.
“I feel like I have had a great relationship and friendship with the fans. I understand them. After the game, Giroux stated that they “get me.”
He was back in South Florida just four days later.
After the trade, Bill Zito of the Panthers said that Zito was “a unique, oneof-a-kind” player.
Laviolette witnessed this firsthand during five seasons as Giroux's Philadelphia coach. Laviolette said, “He is an impact player that I talk about in various situations, certainly his faceoffs. The way he plays offensive, his hockey sense and power play,”
Laviolette felt that the rich became richer after Florida bought Giroux. He said that he feels more at home when he comes to Florida and joins their group because they have a lot of good guys.
Giroux was new to the idea of blending in. He was the Flyers' veteran captain for over a decade and their biggest star for around ten years.
It's certainly different. The organization will always rely on you after you have been a captain for so many decades. Coming here, it's clear that I'm not in that position anymore. It's definitely a shift,” he stated.
Brunette was delighted to include him in a room that also includes the Panthers captain Aleksander BarkovFormer San Jose SharksCaptain Joe Thornton.
“You can never have enough former captains in a room, that's for certain.”
How is it to play with Claude Giroux
Panthers star said, “Terrible.” Jonathan HuberdeauSmile widely. “No, he has been amazing. He is a great person. He is a great guy. He is a great player.
He said that it took him a few games to get comfortable with the Panthers, despite that experience.
It takes more than one practice or game. It's all about being in a position during the game that you can see your teammates. Although it was not possible at the beginning, you start to get to know where your fellow players are and then you build upon that.” he stated.
Huberdeau was the Panthers' star left wing at 28 years old. Soon, he discovered a special chemistry. Locals nicknamed the duo “Girouxberdeau.” Giroux was credited with 23 points in 18 regular season games.
“He's someone special. He has been through the playoffs and reached the finals. Huberdeau explained that such experience is crucial. “When he speaks, people will listen to his words.”
Giroux was a student exchange student who joined classes during the last weeks of senior year. The Panthers' team chemistry was strong.
Huberdeau stated, “We have a tight team locker room.” Huberdeau said, “Obviously, when you have a man come in who was the Captain of another team. He's confident.” He is confident in his abilities.
Giroux stated that he is happy to blend in, despite being a star and his pedigree.
“I believe that there is no need for you to be a true believer in this.” [a letter]To lead. He said, “But you go to a team and there is a leadership group together. You're just trying complement them and to be able to assist them.” “I don't intend to change who I am. It doesn't matter if it's vocalizing or leading by example.
Brunette is a strong believer in the importance of leadership. Brunette values Giroux’s adaptability. He played him with Huberdeau as well as on a line with rookie centre. Anton Lundell. He is most proud of Giroux’s determination to lift the Stanley Cup for only the second time in his career.
“He just wants the win. Brunette said that guys like this seamlessly integrate themselves with the team.
This is especially true when you are part of a team.
“We go out and have fun. Giroux stated that he believes this is one of the main reasons why we are so successful.