Ken Warren of the Ottawa Citizen caught up with second-year Flyers’ forward Claude Giroux, who expressed his excitement for the upcoming season.
“Our team didn’t finish really well, but personally it went pretty good,” Giroux said, while playing street hockey with local children near his home of Orleans, Ontario. “And hopefully this year I’ll get a chance to prove myself. I think the team next year looks pretty good and I’m pretty excited about that.”
And who can blame him?
The stars are aligned for Giroux to have a monster season in 2009-10. After a surprising pro debut in which he scored nine goals and 18 assists in 42 games, the playmaker from Gatineau led the Flyers in playoff scoring. And with the departure of Joffrey Lupul and Mike Knuble, Giroux will be looked upon to fill in the offensive gap left by both forwards in both ice time and point production.
“I think, this year, I’ve just got to go and play my game, don’t try to change my game,” he said. “I’ve gained a little weight, but I’m not trying to change anything. I’m just trying to be a bit stronger.”
Giroux followed the lead of some other Philadelphia players in suggesting, with confidence, that the Eastern Conference better keep their heads up with the Flyers’ new offseason additions, particularly defenseman Chris Pronger.
“I think we’re going to be a better team than we were last year and I think, with Pronger coming in, everybody is pretty excited,” Giroux said. “With guys like (Sidney) Crosby, they’re going to be thinking out there a little bit more.”