No. 2: Claude Giroux
The Rodney Dangerfield of the Philadelphia sports landscape this decade, Claude Giroux seemingly gets no respect from anyone in town. Playing a “niche sport” like hockey and lacking any real team success during that time certainly doesn’t let itself to much recognition.
But you can count the number of NHL players who have scored more points than Giroux since 2010 on one hand, so the guy is clearly an elite talent, no matter what he’s been surrounded by on his own club. And so the longest-serving captain in Flyers history really needs to be high up on this list.
Many will disagree with the No. 2 ranking, but if we are truly rating players based on individual performance, virtually no Philadelphia athlete has the overall body of work that Giroux does in this decade.
First off, he’s one of just three Philadelphia athletes to play the entire decade for their team, joining only Graham and one other player we’ll get to shortly. And so, the sample size is large.
Let’s also not forget that Giroux was a big part of a Stanley Cup Final team and even scored an overtime goal in that series. Yes, it was in 2010 and a lot of time has passed since them, but it still falls within our scope.
Because he has been consistent and healthy for his entire career, Giroux has been able to pile up the points, ranking fourth in the NHL this decade as it draws to a close.
He’s also muscled his way up to 10th place in goals, second place in assists and fourth place in total points in Flyers’ franchise history. Pretty good for a guy whose own GM forgot his name when he drafted him.
Critics will say that the points are nice, but that Giroux hasn’t truly accomplished anything because of the team’s troubling lack of success in recent years.
And while those concerns are valid to an extent, Giroux can’t be blamed for bad coaching decisions, front office mismanagement or any roster shortcomings surrounding him.
The guy has simply been an incredible player for an entire decade for the Flyers. There’s no reason to complain, even in Philadelphia.