‘That was awesome' — Flyers make Giroux blush in celebrating his All-Star MVP


VOORHEES, N.J. — If the group text message wasn't blowing up enough, the Flyers made sure their captain got all of the All-Star MVP love in person.

Loud and clear.

The Flyers were back to work Tuesday for their first practice since the All-Star break. Claude Giroux had himself a winning weekend in Las Vegas as he took home the 2022 All-Star Game MVP honor.

Following practice at Flyers Training Center, Giroux's teammates did not hide their pride in his accomplishment. Cam Atkinson and Scott Laughton bowed, while everyone chanted "M-V-P" and slammed their sticks until Giroux humbly slid to center ice to lead post-practice stretches.

"That was awesome," Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said. "We had a video meeting before practice kind of recapping our last game, as well, and before we walked in there, you could hear an MVP chant going on inside the locker room. We were all ecstatic for G. He's accomplished so much in his career, but you still don't take something like that lightly; that's pretty special."

Giroux became the third Flyer to ever win an All-Star Game MVP, joining Reggie Leach (1980) and Wayne Simmonds (2017).

The city's longest-tenured active athlete, Giroux has genuinely gotten better in his 30s. At 34 years old, he leads the Flyers in assists (20) and is second in both goals (15) and points (35).

Despite the Flyers' 2021-22 campaign falling well short of expectations, Giroux has played well in a contract year. At T-Mobile Arena last weekend, he provided the Flyers a nice reprieve from their adversity-filled season. As a result, he saw some league-wide love.

"It's recognition that he deserves," Yeo said. "He's a phenomenal player, he's had a phenomenal career up to this point and he's clearly not done. He's clearly a determined player and performing at a very high level. After the game, I had two or three friends reach out from different markets who obviously are aware of him and know him, but certainly caught their attention. It's well-deserved recognition for a great player.

"We're all happy for him because he's also been doing so much for the team lately. You look at the way that he's been playing, I think I mentioned it after our last game, when you're up by two goals and it's three seconds left in the game and he sticks his foot out to block a shot, you have no choice if you're somebody else on the team but to do that the next time you're out there. He's been setting the bar and I'm happy for him to get the personal accolades, as well."

Giroux was able to have his wife Ryanne and their 2-year-old son Gavin along for his seventh All-Star trip.

"Especially at the rink, my son really enjoyed himself," Giroux said. "It was great. ... Him being around other players, different jerseys, I think he took a picture with all of the mascots. He was very happy."

Giroux said his teammates had the group text message buzzing.

What did he think of the MVP chants at practice?

"Felt really uncomfortable, but it's great," Giroux said with a smile. "Since I got here this morning, they made me feel pretty special, so it was fun."

Before this season, Derick Brassard had long been an opponent of Giroux's, even going back to their QMJHL days. Now first-time NHL teammates, the 34-year-old veteran enjoyed watching Giroux feel the spotlight.

"The guys have been all over him the entire morning and through our group chat there since he won the MVP," Brassard said. "It's all credit to him, I think that was a good weekend for him and his family. To see his son, I think his son was like the All-Star. I think two years ago, it was like [Kris] Letang's son or something like that, he was all over social media.

"That was good to see for Claude to spend some time with his family and his son to see his dad be an MVP and an All-Star."

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