One of the best young Philadelphia Flyers, since the last best young Philadelphia Flyers, was officially named the captain of his team on Tuesday night. Claude Giroux will have the ‘C’ sewn on his sweater when the team takes the ice on Saturday when the Flyers take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia–the first regular season game of this shortened NHL season, following the end of a brutal lockout.
It was one of the worst kept secrets in Philadelphia, but the team made it officionato this evening via their several social medier accounts, including Twitter:
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 16, 2013
Gee was the pretty obvious choice to replace Chris Pronger as the team’s leader. Pronger hasn’t played in over a year due to severe post-concussion syndrome–something the Pens baby-faced star Sydney Crosby suffered from over the course of the last few seasons, and he admittedly still has concerns about. When asked in a Deadspin-host chat if he though his brother would ever be back on the ice, Sean Pronger said no.
|Name||Seasons||Reason Captaincy Ended|
|Dave Poulin||(1984-89) 6||Stripped by Holmgren in Dec. 1989|
|Ron Sutter||(1989-91) 2||Traded to St. Louis Blues in Sept. 1991|
|Rick Tocchet||(1991-92) 1||Traded to Pittsburgh Penguins in Feb. 1992|
|Kevin Dineen||(1993-94) 1||Stepped aside for Lindros in Sept. 1994|
|Eric Lindros||(1994-’00) 6||Stripped by Bobby Clarke in Mar. 2000 for criticizing team medical staff|
|Eric Desjardins||(2000-’01) 1||Resigned captaincy in Oct. 2001|
|Keith Primeau||(2001-’06) 4||Retired in Sept. 2006 because of post-concussion syndrome|
|Derian Hatcher||(2006) >1||Served on interim basis while Primeau was out|
|Peter Forsber||(2006-’07) 1||Traded to Nashville Predators in Feb. 2007|
|Jason Smith||(2007-’08) 1||Signed as free agent with Ottawa Senators in July 2008|
|Mike Richards||(2008-’11) 3||Traded to LA Kings in June 2011|
|Chris Pronger||(2011-’12) 1||Stepped aside because of post-concussion syndrome|
|Claude Giroux||(2013-present) 1||TDB|
“I don’t think he’ll play again but what do I know,” he wrote.
Either way, something had to be done about the Flyers’ captaincy, and Giroux clearly made the most sense. His leadership cannot be questioned. He’s clearly one of the most talented young players in the game. And he’s got the respect of everyone in the locker room.
But hold on for just a minute. Is this something we should all be particularly excited about? I submit that we should not–based solely on the recent-ish trend of Flyers captains.
After some Googling, I’ve determined that there’s about an 87.5% chance that the ‘C’ on an orange sweater stands more for ‘Cursed’ than ‘Captain’.
Bear with me.
Of the 13 (yeah.. I know.. 13.. not a good start here) captains since Bobby Clarke, 9–this is counting G–have only had the ‘C’ for a year or less. Four of the 13 were traded, one signed with another team; two were stripped of the captaincy, and one (soon to be too) was forced to retire because of concussion symptoms. (Full chart of those 13, to the right, courtesy of Wikipedia.)
Maybe this curse can be chalked up to the extra pressure that’s placed on athletes in Philadelphia in general. That pressure might only be magnified with the ‘C’ on the sweater. And maybe, just maybe, Claude Giroux is the answer to the curse–besides, they’re all meant to be broken, even that video game cover one (statistically anyway). I’m not the first to conceive of the idea of a captain’s curse either.
What say you, dear reader? Is this the best move for the Flyers? Is the captaincy cursed? I want to hear from you all–Philly fans, Pens fans, hockey fans, even haters. Let loose in the comments. Hell, vent about the lockout if you feel like it. Comments people, comments.