His father didnt believe it.
My son the captain of the Flyers?
My dad was a little shocked, Claude Giroux smiled. He didnt know what to say. He was speechless.
Girouxs first day as the new captain of the Flyers wasnt all that much different than the previous day at training camp.
Except maybe for a few conversations with teammates, and Chris Pronger, who handed down the C.
Ive been talking to Prongs a lot, the 25-year-old Giroux said. Its good to have him around. Hes been a captain a lot of years and was a captain when he was younger, too. He gave me a couple of tips. At the end of the day, I have to focus on how I play on the ice and go from there.
He said, its a lot of pressure and every season you have some tough moments as a team and kinda have to go through it. A C, A or nothing, you go on the ice and play your best and if you play well, thats a pretty good start.
Pronger, who would not speak to the Philadelphia media, but only to the Flyers PR staff and their website reporter, said Giroux deserved the captaincy.
Its well deserved, Pronger said in a statement. Hes obviously a very important part of the team and a guy that all the guys in that locker room are looking toward Hes obviously a guy that has to grow into it.
The biggest thing he can do is lead by example come and practice hard and play the game hard That sets the example for everyone else and they all fall in line behind him.
Outside of Pronger, Giroux has been exposed to a number of other players who held the C either here or somewhere else Mike Richards, Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen and even Jaromir Jagr.
Every one of those players worked their tails off when on the ice. Their personalities and temperaments and how they handled media pressure may have been different, but not their work ethic.
Giroux, like them, sets a standard on the ice.
Theres a lot of players who had the C and I learned a lot, Giroux said. Jags last year was a big player for me and obviously, Richie, Prongs and Danny B were great to me. Hopefully, I can be captains like them. Its a lot of pressure, but Im glad to have it.
With a lockout-shortened season, this could be a tough first crack for Giroux if the Flyers dont get off to a good start.
Timonen said it will be important for Giroux to handle himself accordingly when things are going poorly, as well as good.
He is a very competitive player and high skill and very responsible, goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said.
A captain has to get a feel for the team. What kind of mood of the team. Sometimes better to keep the silent or step up. He will learn. He is a talented guy on and off the ice. He will pick it up.
Giroux admits hes not an in your face guy like Pronger was. More like Richards, who was quiet.
Is it even in Giroux to challenge a player vocally in the room?
I guess well find out, I dont know, Giroux said. I care. I want to win. I want to do the right thing. I am up to the challenge. I am not here by myself. I have a lot of veterans behind me.
Like Danny and Kimmo and Hartsy Scott Hartnell came up to me and said they have my back. Obviously, it makes me feel a lot more comfortable. I might have the C on my jersey, but I am not the only leader here.
Giroux also said if he has any fault, its that he tends to be a chatter box.
I like to talk a lot during the game, he said. In the room or on the ice, I am a guy who is pretty excited. Maybe I will be talking. Sometimes I talk a little too much. Make sure I stay focused on the game plan.
He will be Flyers' eighth captain in the past 12 years. They need the C to stay on Girouxs sweater a bit longer than what has been happening in Flyerdom.
I think he has earned it, Timonen said. When we talk about captaincy, there are a few things that go into it.
The guy has to be a good player a top player on your team. He is our best player. Second thing, he has to be there a few year and G will be here 10 to 15 years.
The only thing G is missing is a little bit of experience. We have a lot of guys here who can help him out.
Timonen was named the associate captain. The alternate captains are Briere and Hartnell.
Whats an associate?
Maybe I am Gs right hand man, Timonen replied. If he needs groceries, I go pick them up.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at email@example.com