O Captain My Captain, Claude Giroux is now longest tenured Flyers captain

Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

On January 19, 2013, Philadelphia Flyers forward Claude Giroux played his first game as captain of the team. Eight years and seven days later, Giroux played in his 611th game as captain. It was a game that would make Giroux the longest-tenured captain in Flyers history, passing Bobby Clarke’s previous record of 610-games.

Bobby Clarke, who was 17th overall in the 1969 draft, began his Flyers career immediately after being drafted. Becoming the third captain in Flyers history in just his fourth season in Philadelphia.

During his nine seasons as captain, Clarke would lead the Flyers to two Stanley Cups wins & would set the record for longest-tenured captain in Flyers history with 610 games. A record that has stood over the past 37-years. A record that Claude Giroux broke last night.

"“That means he is really old, thats what I told him before the game yesterday,” forward Jake Voracek said jokingly about Giroux becoming the longest tenured captain. “Jokes aside, it’s a privilege for a player to be a captain in the league and especially to be one for a franchise like the Flyers.”"

Voracek added, “It’s a huge accomplishment for him & I’m really happy for him.” 

Claude Giroux, who was drafted 22nd overall in 2006, wasn’t as quick of a riser as Bobby Clarke was. Giroux would spend another two seasons in junior hockey before turning pro. His start with the Flyers would come midway through the 2008-2009 season.

After starting the season in the AHL with the Phantoms, Giroux would be re-called on December 26, 2008. Thereafter, Giroux would go on to play the reminder 42-games of the season with the team and not look back.

Then, after his third full season in Philadelphia, just like Bobby Clarke, Giroux would be named captain.

During his now eight seasons as captain, Giroux has led the Flyers to the playoffs four times, but little playoff success with only one playoff round win.

"Since I’ve been captain, it’s no secret, we haven’t gone far,” Claude Giroux said about his current legacy as captain. “We haven’t had a lot of success. But, we are looking to the future."

Looking to the future is one of the reasons Giroux’s legacy has been what it is. The Flyers have been in a rebuild for most of Giroux’s tenure as a captain.

When Ron Hextall was named general manager in Claude Giroux’s third season as captain, the team went into a rebuild. A rebuild, that until last season, was still slowly progressing into its next phase.

Now, with the rebuild officially complete & the results now showing, Giroux is excited for the future. A future that will have a big effect on his legacy.

"“The team we have right now, we have a lot of depth, we believe in each other,” Claude Giroux said about his future legacy as captain. “It’s very exciting to be able to build something with these guys here right now.”"

If it wasn’t for former general manager Ron Hextall rebuilding the Flyers, Giroux’s legacy may look a little different right now. However, because Ron Hextall rebuilt the team the way he did, Giroux’s legacy has the chance to be even greater now because of it.