Monday, January 14, 2013

Giroux on verge of being named captain

By the time the Flyers hold a special thank you practice session for the fans - yes, we're still talkin' 'bout practice - before what's looking to be a very big crowd at Wells Fargo Center Thursday night, the deed should be done. Claude Giroux should finally have been named the Flyers' captain.
“It’s a decision they have to think about,” Giroux said last week. “It’s a big move, but at the same time it doesn’t really matter whether you have a ‘C’ or an ‘A’ or nothing on your jersey. If you lead by example or you’re comfortable enough to speak in a (locker) room, you don’t need a letter on your jersey to do that.
“It’s a big responsibility, but it’s an honor at the same time. Even if I don’t have the (captain’s) letter, I’m still going to be the same player on or off the ice."
Clearly the club's best leader down the stretch and through the playoffs last year, Giroux probably didn't want a "C" stitched to his jersey while current captain Chris Pronger was still sidelined with post-concussion syndrome stemming from a hit the prior November.
That has officially changed this week, as Pronger came to the Flyers' short training camp from his St. Louis home ostensibly to work with some of the defensemen in the video room - which he's done, by the way. But Pronger also had to be evaluated by Flyers doctors so that he could be classified as a long-term injury list resident. He'll still be paid, but the Flyers will thus get relief against the salary cap.
For the first time since he was hurt, talk of Pronger likely never playing again has been addressed by team officials, and by his brother Sean in an interview chat on Deadspin the other day. It's been no secret, it's just becoming an accepted formality.
There is talk that somewhere down the road - just as with what happened with Ian Laperriere - that Pronger's status after his time on the LTI list would be one of team employee. At this stage, that's still speculative. But more immediately, there is the presumed pomp and circumstance to Giroux's captaincy crowning.
He likely will be introduced to all those Flyers fans Thursday night as the team's new captain. The appointment itself could happen in a quieter, locker room venue sooner than that, perhaps as early as Tuesday.
Either way, it will be interesting to see if Pronger takes part in any team party, whether in front of a building full of fans or not.


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