Fitting farewell? With trade deadline looming, Giroux, Flyers have special night


If that was how Claude Giroux goes out as a Flyer, he did it in style.

The 2021-22 season has not been a storybook one for the Flyers, but their beloved captain provided a fulfilling chapter Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center. With what was likely his last chapter in Philadelphia, Giroux recorded the 1,000th game of his career. All 1,000 came in a Flyers jersey, in a city that is tough and demanding.

The Flyers celebrated Giroux with a come-from-behind, 5-4 win over the Predators. They erased a 4-3 deficit in the final four and a half minutes of regulation.

A teary-eyed Giroux saluted the fans, who bellowed his name and demanded a few more curtain calls.

"It was awesome," Giroux said. "I mean, the fans and the organization, my teammates, they've been so good to me for so many years. That's one of the reasons why I was pretty emotional after the game.

"I feel like I've had a great relationship with the fans and the city. I get them, they get me. ... I love them."

As the Flyers have severely underachieved in a contract year for Giroux, the 34-year-old has become arguably the crown jewel of this season's trade market. The deadline arrives Monday. The Flyers have two more games before it — Friday night in Ottawa against the Senators and Sunday afternoon at home against the Islanders.

A source confirmed multiple reports that Giroux is not traveling with the team. The Flyers and Giroux, of course, will not want to risk injury as a potential trade is made. General manager Chuck Fletcher likely won't sleep much over the weekend as he tries to do right by Giroux and capitalize on his biggest decision at a busy deadline.

More: Giroux reflective and appreciative as 1,000th game comes, trade deadline next

Thursday night sure felt like a perfect and deserved send-off for an all-time great Flyer.

"He's been the heart and soul of this organization probably since the day he got here," Kevin Hayes said. "I was fortunate enough to play three years with him. He has given everything he has to this city and it just shows how much he cares and how much he wants to win.

"Even though the season hasn't gone the way we want it to and the trade rumors have been swirling about him, he's handled it professionally and the correct way, just like we all assumed he would. We're not sure what's going to happen in the next couple of days here, but if he does get moved, I think I'll have a new team I'll be rooting for."

The Flyers held a special pregame ceremony to commemorate their captain's milestone. Giroux, the city's longest-tenured active athlete going back to February 2008, was joined by his family on the ice.

"The whole ceremony was great," Giroux said. "Being able to be with my parents, my wife and my two boys, it was special.

"I wish I would have played a little bit better, but just overall, how the organization and the fans and my teammates made me feel, I couldn't ask for more."

More: Flyers honor Giroux with emotional, memory-filled pregame ceremony

Once they left the ice following the win, the Flyers shared a moment together in the locker room.

"A little bittersweet, for sure," Carter Hart said. "He has given a lot to this city and to us. If it is his last game as a Flyer, hopefully not, just kind of wish we could have given him more. But a pretty special night to cap it off like that for him."

Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said that was the message to his team, to make it a special night for Giroux.

No doubt it did.

"Incredibly emotional for G in particular and obviously all of us, his teammates," Yeo said. "It’s hard to put it into words I guess, but I’m just really happy for him, to get this win and to have it happen like this.

"I thought that the crowd was amazing tonight, lifted our group up incredibly. And I thought our crowd did an incredible job of celebrating G and everything that he’s done for this organization and I think his teammates did a great job tonight, as well."

More: Giroux sets the example for Farabee, tells him to break his records

Subscribe to and rate Flyers Talk

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Contact Us