Flyers Notes: Flyers' Claude Giroux tries to deflect captain talk

Posted: January 09, 2013

Flyers center Claude Giroux, looking like a teenager with his short haircut, sounded like a wily veteran after he was asked about possibly becoming the franchise's 19th captain.

"It's a decision they have to think about. It's a big decision - but at the same time, it doesn't matter if you have a 'C' or 'A' or nothing on your jersey," he said Tuesday after joining 10 teammates for an informal practice in Voorhees. "If you lead by example on the ice or if you feel comfortable enough to speak in the room, I don't think you need a letter on your jersey to do that."

Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren hinted that a captain will be named before the shortened season starts Jan. 19. No one was named last season after captain Chris Pronger suffered a season-ending concussion.

Giroux, who will turn 25 Saturday, is considered the favorite to assume the role. Coach Peter Laviolette praised the young star's leadership qualities the other day. Giroux has become one of the team's best communicators, and his talent and on-ice fire - remember last season when he leveled the Penguins' Sidney Crosby six seconds into Game 6 of their playoff series? - make him deeply respected among NHL peers.

Giroux tried to deflect the captain talk, mentioning the leadership of teammates Danny Briere and Kimmo Timonen.

"They were captains before, and whatever decision [Flyers officials] make, I don't think it's going to make a difference on how we play and how we're going to be in the room or really on the ice," he said.

Asked whether he would embrace the role if he wore the C, Giroux said, "It's a big responsibility, obviously, but it's an honor at the same time. Obviously, a lot of great captains have been in Philly, and anytime you have the chance to have that responsibility, that means they have a lot of confidence in your will to win and get the team together. Obviously, it would be a great honor."

Giroux, who said he has recovered from a neck injury suffered in Germany, got a little uncomfortable as the captain conversation continued.

"Can we change the subject here?" he asked politely.

The subject turned to a probable opening-game matinee against hated Pittsburgh.

"There's not a better opponent that we'd want to play to kick off the season," Giroux said. "It's going to be intense and especially at home. We know the crowd is going to be ready to go, so thinking about it makes me want to play pretty soon."

Briere update. Danny Briere said his injured left wrist cannot be examined by the Flyers' hand specialist until after the collective bargaining agreement is ratified, which is expected to happen Saturday. Briere is hoping to play in the opener, estimating he would miss two games at the most.

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