Philadelphia Flyers: Interview with Claude Giroux


Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is the featured player of the new “Topps NHL Skate” app. I was invited to his media day to discuss the revolutionary app, his time as a Flyer, and the current season.

“Topps NHL Skate” is an app that brings all the fun and nostalgia of collecting hockey cards into the 21st century. The app also marks the first time since 2003 that Topps produced hockey cards.

This new app is incredibly unique, something that hasn’t been seen before. It is a combination of trading cards, fantasy hockey, and highlight reels. There is a feature on the app that shows seven second highlight clips and there is even a live signing option where your favorite NHL star can autograph a digital card.

Claude Giroux was chosen to be the face of the app and had this to say about Topps NHL Skate,

"“It’s an unbelievable experience to be on the cover of the new Topps hockey app. I grew up collecting Topps hockey cards and to see their brand and products evolve digitally is really exciting for hockey. I’m looking forward to jumping in and collecting, trading, and playing my Flyers cards!”"

Topps NHL Skate is an officially licensed app of the NHL and it is available to download for free via Apple App Store and Google Play.

It was because of this app that I was invited to speak with Claude Giroux. Below is a question-answer style format of the conversation I had with the captain.

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Anthony Mazziotti: What can you tell me about the new Topps app, how it came about, and how you got to be the face of the product?

Claude Giroux: “When I saw it and saw the idea I was pretty excited about it and I wanted to be a part of it. When I was a kid I collected a lot of cards, it was my way to be part of hockey a little bit. Just trading cards with my buddies and owning them is pretty fun.”

AM: So do you like that it’s more digital now? Do you feel like it’s what it used to be, just moved into the 21st century?

CG: “I think so. Especially with kids these days, they like their iPads, they like their iPhones and they’ll be able to trade cards and play also on the app. You can see the card and the video on the card of how it happened. It’s pretty sweet.”

AM: With the Topps app, there’s a feature called Topps Focus, can you go into detail about what that is?

CG: “Yeah, it’s pretty cool. Every time you see a picture on a card you always wonder how the play was going, but with the Focus there’s a seven-second clip of the actual picture and you can see how it happens. It’s a new thing that I think people are going to like.”

AM: So it’s kind of like Snapchat but with trading cards?

CG: “Yeah, haha”

AM: I read that you can actually sign the cards digitally, and the users can watch you sign. I think that’s a cool aspect to have, what are your thoughts on that aspect of the app?

CG: “When I was a kid I tried to do the players signature a lot and now you can actually see how they sign it so I think the kids are gonna love that.”

AM: Different set of questions now. Who has the best grilled cheese in the area?

CG: “Wow. I would say myself. I put some bacon in there sometimes. I make it really simple. White bread, Kraft cheese, two slices, and you’re good to go.”

Claude Giroux
Dec 1, 2016; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) skates with the puck in the third period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Flyers defeated the Senators 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

AM: Sound’s great. What’s your favorite moment as a Flyer?

CG: “When you’re a kid your dream is to win the Stanley Cup, when we went to the Stanley Cup finals in 2010 I scored an overtime game winner at home and the crowd went crazy.”

AM: I remember that, it was awesome! What does being a Flyer mean to you?

CG: “I think the organization, the fans, and the city have a lot of pride and being able to be part of this and to have the responsibility, there’s not a better organization I would want to be with.”

AM: What does it mean to be the Captain of this organization?

CG: “There’s good pressure, the responsibility to be able to lead the team, it’s great. It’s great to have good support from your teammates and I’m really enjoying it.”

AM: That’s great to hear. How would you describe the chemistry between yourself and Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds?

CG: “We’ve been together for a while now and we know how the other guys think. When you have good chemistry with a player you keep building on it, everyday we’re trying to find new ways to build on that.”

AM: What changes are you noticing with younger players like Shayne Gostisbehere and Nick Cousins from last year to this year?

CG: “One year makes a big difference. You learn a lot your first year on and off the ice. It’s about being consistent and knowing every day to come to work and do your best. You can feel the difference after one year.”

AM: What about the even younger guys like Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny?

Claude Giroux
Oct 20, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) during the second period against Anaheim Ducks at Wells Fargo Center. The Ducks defeated the Flyers, 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

CG: “You don’t see a lot of 19-year-olds that come in and feel as comfortable as they are on the ice and it’s impressive to see how young those kids are and they can play with anybody. It’s gonna be a bright future for both of them.”

AM: I speak for all Flyers fans, but I’m excited to see how it all comes together. How is it playing for Coach Hakstol compared to other coaches you’ve had in the past?

CG: “I think every coach has their own way of coaching. Hak came in last year, his attitude is great and he wants to win bad. When your leader wants to win that bad you follow. He’s been really good for us.”

AM: Has he made any changes from year one to year two?

CG: “Yeah. He’s really good at communicating with the players and he wants to know how we feel how we can change things and how we can be a better team. That’s one thing I like about him, he doesn’t act like he knows it all. He just wants the team to get better.”

Next: A Bright Spot in the City of Brotherly Love

AM: Last question. Is the rivalry between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh as big as the media makes it out to be?

CG: “I think when you play a team often, especially in the playoffs, the rivalry goes up. It makes the games a lot more fun and anytime we play Pittsburgh it’s the best games. The intensity is up and those are the games you want to play in.”

For more information about Topps NHL Skate click here.