Claude Giroux has made it known he wants to plays into his 40s.
He could even become the franchise’s all-time leading scorer.
However, does the longest-tenured captain next to Bobby Clarke see himself as a lifelong Flyer?
Recently, Giroux sat down with NBC’s Jeremy Roenick for a 1-on-1 interview that explored a number of topics, including some of those grade-school challenges you might ask a sibling on a long car ride.
For example, Roenick pondered, “Would you be unable to chew with your mouth closed for the rest of your life or be unable to breathe through your nose?”
However, J.R. also explored Giroux’s long-term outlook and where his career might lead.
Roenick: “Ten years from now, where do you want Claude Giroux’s life to be? How do you want people to remember you when you’re done with this game and you’re … where’s Claude Giroux in 10 years?”
Giroux: “In 10 years? Uh, hopefully playing my last year.”
Giroux: “You know, I understand it’s not easy, not a lot of players get a chance to play when they’re 40. But if you put the time in I think you can do it and after that, I don’t know. We’ll see … we’ll see where it takes me. I know I’ve been in Philly for a long time now, so … I can see staying there, but you know it’s … I've got other things to focus on.”
Other things to focus on?
Giroux didn’t elaborate on that last point. We know he’ll become a father for the first time in August, and as players enter the latter stages of their careers, family life certainly takes priority. However, you would also think for Giroux, who began his career in 2008, and hasn’t advanced in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2012, that the desire to bring Philadelphia its first Stanley Cup championship since 1975 would be a way to cement his Flyers legacy.
Interestingly, Roenick followed up with a question that Giroux could have answered accordingly.
Roenick: "And how important is it for you to stay in Philly and finish off what you started there?"
Giroux: “Well, you know, I got lucky enough to have a chance to play in the NHL with Philly and it’s an intense, I mean, it’s an intense city. They love their sports. You play bad, they’re gonna let you know. You play good, they’ll let you know. You’re not gonna go home one night and think I wonder how they feel. You know how they feel, so it’s good.”
Huh? A very noncommittal answer to which, once again, Giroux could have reaffirmed his desire to bring the city a championship.
How does the intensity of playing in a passionate sports town figure into that equation?
Perhaps, Giroux is looking beyond the 2021-22 season, the final year of his current eight-year contract, when he’ll be 34, having played 14 seasons in orange and black. At that time, he will have earned the right to test free agency if that’s what he elects to do.
Then again, if Chuck Fletcher doesn’t make significant upgrades over the summer, Giroux might be the final piece to some other team’s championship puzzle.
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