This would’ve been a top story any other day this winter. Yesterday? It didn’t even register on my tinfoil radar. But our old friend, former AFL China sideline reporter, former Phillies and Devils beat writer, Randy Miller, of NJ.com, wondered if the Flyers should strip Claude Giroux of his captaincy. Here’s just a sampling of Miller’s self-serving dreck:
During Giroux’s first season as captain he blew off the media after a frustrating road loss. He vowed it wouldn’t happen again. It did.
It’s at a point now that now where beat writers sometimes don’t even request to add Giroux to the post-game interview list because his quotes often as unusable clichés. More often than not, Giroux gives short answers that doesn’t come close to matching the kind of honestly that Mason, Simmonds and Streit usually provide.
Leaving that task to others isn’t a sign of strong leadership.
The same goes for embarrassing the organization with off-ice issues.
Giroux just finished his first season as captain two summers ago when a golf club supposedly shattered in his hand. Ever heard of that happening to anyone else?
Is that what really happened? A lot of people think there’s more to the story.
Then there was the drunken butt-pinching-the-cop episode in an Ottawa bar last summer which landed him behind bars for a night.
Giroux hasn’t talked about any of those incidents.
Taking everything into account, should the Flyers get a new captain next season?
Jesus Christ. Look, there might be a legit argument to be made about Giroux’s leadership abilities. He’s a great player, but I’ve always viewed him as a better Robin than Batman, at least in terms of the added pressure that comes with being captain. But – hey speaking of clichés, Randy – there’s nothing more tired than beat writers questioning a player’s leadership by citing – almost exclusively – examples of how he deals with the media. It’s sooooo transparent.
Yesterday, Frank Seravalli, with the help of a good quote from Wayne Simmonds, countered Miller’s trite argument:
“That’s bull(bleep),” Wayne Simmonds said. “It has nothing to do with team leadership or how good of a captain he is. He goes out there every single shift and plays his heart out. For (that writer) to even speculate that ‘G’ is not a good leader is a joke. It’s embarrassing.”
No, what is said publicly, truly has zero correlation to the Flyers’ leadership group or wins and losses, for that matter. Yes, some reporters are around the team every day and in the locker room, but even the best in the business don’t have a clue about exactly what goes on behind closed doors. To pretend otherwise is a flat out joke.
Giroux won’t give media the “good sound” every media member craves, but so what? There are plenty of other players to provide color. Media should never be a part of the equation.
This all goes back to Miller, who, for my money, is the most vindictive of local beat writers. If you’ll recall, he wrote glowingly about Ilya Bryzgalov while he was here (Miller was one of the few), and then, when Bryzgalov didn’t offer up a quote the day the Flyers cut him, Miller tore into him on Twitter with a whole bunch of (actually telling) insider accounts of Bryz’s clashes with Peter Laviolette– all things that Miller didn’t bother to report when Bryz still of use to him. So it should come as no surprise that, since Giroux and his boring-ass quotes aren’t of much use to Miller (and because G has a much better relationship with some other beat writers), Miller decided to lay into him.
That said, Miller’s piece is essentially a Mad Lib of articles written by the likes of Tim Panaccio and Sam Carchidi in recent years about [proper noun]’s handling of the media and how it translates to [something completely unrelated to handling of the media]. We’ve filled this one out before, guys. Get some new material.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a post about local sports talk radio to write….
H/T to (@CjBurns215)