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Edmonton Oilers sign AHL star scorer Alexandre Giroux

Scott Clemmensen, Dmitry Kulikov, Alexandre Giroux

Florida Panthers goalie Scott Clemmensen, left, and defenseman Dmitry Kulikov of Russia, and Washington Capitals’ Alexandre Giroux go for the puck in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Washington on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)


It’s not likely to be a deal to find its way on to most of your radars, but Capitals fans who embraced their AHL farm team, the Hershey Bears, are likely snacking on a Hershey bar with a single tear today as the Edmonton Oilers signed away one of the Bears top scorers.

General Manager Steve Tambellini announced today the Edmonton Oilers have agreed to terms with free agent left-winger Alexandre Giroux on a one-year contract.

Giroux, 29, spent most of the season last year with the Hershey Bears in the American Hockey League collecting 103 points (50G, 50A) in 69 games. He also suited up for nine games with the Washington Capitals scoring once and adding two assists.

Don’t worry if you’re not too familiar with Giroux at all as he’s only played in 31 career NHL games. If you’re a big follower of the AHL, however, you should be very familiar with him by now as he’s put up some ridiculous numbers throughout his AHL career. His scoring totals last year are impressive, sure, but two seasons ago for the Bears he scored 60 goals and had 97 points in 69 games and has been a consistent 30+ goals per season guy for the last five years.

So how does a player like this do so well in the AHL and not get a sniff of anything in the NHL? If nothing else, it provides the line of demarcation to show how much of a difference there is between the level of play between the majors and the minors. For the Oilers though, it’s worth it to take a chance on Giroux. If he pans out and finds an ability to score in the NHL, they’ve got an incredible bargain at $500,000. If not, they send him to their AHL affiliate in Oklahoma City and the fans there instantly have someone they’ll be rooting for to score, and boy will he ever score.