March 17th, 2022. 1,000 Games as a Philadelphia Flyer. 357 players have reached this milestone in the NHL. Claude becomes the 36th player to do it all with one franchise. 18,000 fans showed up for the big sendoff and the team even managed to get a come from behind win for their Captain.
1,000 games played. 291 goals scored. 609 assists. 900 points. 339 points on the power play.
He truly is as much of an icon as the legends that have played here before him. The second Flyer to reach the one thousand game mark all with the Flyers. I've personally seen a lot of hate on social media. From calling him soft, to saying he never steps up, to saying he's the worst captain the Flyers have had. I don't think any of that is true. I think he's going into the Hall of Fame one day and I just hope he gets the cup to solidify that.
Last night the team celebrated Claude from start to finish. During a season in which there are so many more lows than highs, the Flyers pulled out all the stops for Claude.
Giroux received the silver stick that every NHL player gets when reaching 1000 games. Bobby Clarke came out to hand that off. Scott Laughton and Sean Couturier also presented Claude's children with their own smaller silver sticks as well. They gave him a gorgeous Rolex. His teammates gave in an artist rendering of a photo of one of the most memorable goals he's ever scored, the OT game winner in the Stadium Series over the Penguins. There was another portrait with some of his greatest moments as a Flyer as well. There was a great video with a bunch of former teammates wishing him well. Eric Lindros was on hand to bang the drum pre game to get the crowd going. Claude's parents were on hand and his father was in the locker room to read the pregame lineup to the team.
After the game Claude was announced as the first star of the game and then was curtain called out to the ice one more time. The game wasn't one of his best either but the team won and that's more important to Claude. He had no points, one penalty and two shots on goal. Mike Yeo kept Claude out of some situations, he didn't penalty kill and with a little over a minute to go and the empty net he kept Claude on the bench. The last thing Mike needed was to get Claude injured before the deadline. We'd have seen a second coach fired in the same year.
As far as the trade deadline goes. According to Anthony San Filippo of Crossing Broad, Giroux did not make the trip with the team to Ottawa and will not play Sunday against the Islanders. It looks to be down to two teams, Colorado and Florida with Florida being Giroux's primary choice. He has a full no movement clause so he can kind of dictate where he wants to go. Boston and the Rangers made an attempt to trade for Claude and he is said to have said no to both of those teams. Another reason to love the man right? March 21st is the trade deadline and all indications are that a deal will be done over this coming weekend. It is possible that Claude could resign with the Flyers as a free agent in the offseason but those things don't happen a lot. No matter what happens. Thank you Claude for one hell of a career here. He will always be one of my all time favorite Flyers.