10 p.m., Feb. 8)
parents able to witness son's first NHL goal
Cumberland Grad Claude Giroux scored his first goal with the Philadelphia Flyers
on Jan. 27 against the Florida Panthers. File photo
and Nicole Giroux traveled to Florida last month to catch some sun and watch their
son Claude play for the Philadelphia Flyers, they had no idea they would witness
their son score his first NHL goal, in fact Ray very nearly missed it.
was just coming back from the rest room and standing at the top of the stairs
behind some people waiting for a whistle when I noticed Claude get on a breakaway.
I just pushed through the people just in time to see him score," said Ray
who's now back in Orléans.
was called up by the Flyers from their AHL affiliate the Philadelphia Phantoms
on Boxing Day for a game against the Chicago Blackhawks and has been with the
club ever since.
played in four games and collected two assists before suffering a mild concussion
against the Anaheim Mighty Ducks when he was on the receiving end of a vicious
elbow to the face thrown by Corey Perry.
received a four game suspension for the incident which left Giroux in the infirmary
for five games. He was brought back to the line-up for a mini-road trip to Florida
on Jan. 15 and 17, but didn't get on the scoresheet.
managed to pick up an assist in the Flyers' 5-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers
on home ice on Jan. 21st before the team headed back to Florida for games against
the Panthers and Lightning.
was by sheer coincidence that Ray and Nicole decided to go to Florida for the
second road trip and not the first.
goal came just one minute and 51 seconds into the third period off a long outlet
pass from Darroll Powe. After picking up the puck just outside the Panthers' blueline
he streaked in on Tomas Vokoun and ripped a shot low glove side that caught the
inside of the far post.
was a great goal, especially for being his first one. Like it wasn't deflected
off someone's leg or was a bad bounce," says an obviously proud father.
Ray was watching the play unfold from the top of the stairs, Claude's mother Nicole
was watching the action from her seat along with Gatineau Olympiques owner Andre
Chaput who was also in Florida on vacation.
signed Giroux to a contract with the Olympiques in 2005 after he was passed over
by the OHL. The rest, as the say, has been history. After registering 39 goals
and 64 assists in 69 games, the Flyers selected him 22nd overall in the NHL entry
his sophomore year with the Olympiques, he scored 48 goals and 64 assists in 63
games to place fourth in scoring. Then last year he finished second in scoring
with 38 goals and 68 assists in just 55 games. He likely would have won the scoring
race if not for the fact that he spent the later half of December helping Team
Canada win the gold medal at the World Juniors.
also missed a couple of games in February when the Flyers called him up for his
first taste of the NHL. His first game in a Flyers uniform was against the Ottawa
Senators at Scotiabank Place as his mother and father and sister Isabelle watched
from the stands.
capped off his junior career by setting a Quebec Major Junior Hockey League record
for most points in the playoffs with 51. In 32 games with the Phantoms this season,
he had 17 goals and 17 assists and was named the AHL Player of the Month in December
before being called up to play for the Flyers.
Giroux is hoping his son will stay with the club and help the Flyers as they head
toward the playoffs. In the meantime, Ray and Nicole will be watching every game
on satelite TV from their home in Fallingbrook -- the proud parents of an NHLer.
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
www.orleansonline.ca's main page