The Curious Case of Claude Giroux

With the Sochi Olympics now underway and a brief freeze in the NHL season, the most talked about topic in hockey right now is regarding Flyers captain Claude Giroux on why he did not make Team Canada. When the Canadian Men’s Olympic team was named in early January, it seemed as a surprise too many that Martin St. Louis was left off of the team. But as of last week St. Louis replaced injured Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos for a spot on Team Canada. Many people believed that Steve Yzerman the GM of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the GM of Team Canada only picked St. Louis because he plays for him in the NHL, and he did not want to tell St. Louis for a third time that he was not good enough for Team Canada, in order sustain a healthy relationship. One of those many people who believed that St. Louis was only picked because of his relationship with Yzerman was feisty Flyer’s chairman Ed Snider. Here’s a clip on what he thought of Team Canada’s decision to take St. Louis rather than someone else like his player Claude Giroux.

I personally disagree with the remarks made by Mr.Snider indicating that Giroux deserved the spot over St. Louis. However I do agree that Claude Giroux should have originally made team Canada to begin with.
First off let’s begin with why Giroux is not a better option than St. Louis; for one St. Louis won the Art Ross Trophy last season as the highest scoring player in the league, St. Louis has averaged about 1.1 points per game played in the last 5 seasons, while Claude Giroux has averaged about 0.92 points per game. So if Mr. Snider wants to say Giroux is more consistent than St. Louis offensively he would be incorrect. Now you’re probably thinking I know nothing about hockey and there’s more to a player than offense; sure I agree with the second part, remember St. Louis is replacing Stamkos, so Canada is trying to inject more offense and what better way to do that than add last year’s league leading scorer into your lineup.
Now let’s move on to the topic of why I think Claude Giroux should have made Team Canada to begin with in January. I think Giroux is an ideal fit for Team Canada because he’s the type of player that can play solid defense in his zone, but can still put up impressive offensive numbers. In addition to that his size and speed make him the ideal player on the large Olympic ice as he has more room to skate and has a better ability to skate than some players on the team like Jeff Carter. Carter was bought onto the team to put up goals; he is a big bodied guy but does not through his weight around as much as he should at 6’4, 212 pounds. Ironically though for a goal scorer, Carter has been on a recent slump putting up 0 goals and 3 assists in his last 8 games. Jeff Carter is the type of player that can only play in your top two lines, and your top two lines are expected to score, so if Carter goes into the tournament colder than the weather in Canada, it will be hard to find a fit for him in the lineup especially in a short tournament where everyone needs to be on their game. But a player like Giroux has the versatility to play in any situation and in any forward line. In addition to that, Canada already has enough big bodied players on forward with the likes of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Rick Nash, so it would not be fair in my opinion to take Carter over Giroux based on the element of size.
F.Y.I, I do not know why St. Louis was left off of the team to begin with, but that has already been discussed a billion times.
Hope you enjoyed, follow my twitter @Zaia81.

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