Back in 2011, following a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers, Flyers captain Chris Pronger and future captain Claude Giroux had a bit of a verbal exchange following the game. Numerous reporters were in the vicinity of the disagreement and wrote stories ranging from declaring a mutiny, to discord, to the situation spurring the team to refocus on the task at hand. The story was kept under wraps for quite some time, but on this week’s Snow The Goalie, Pronger took listeners behind the scenes of what really went down on that night in March:
On a new @SnowTheGoalie, @NHL Hall of Famer & former @NHLFlyers captain Chris Pronger opened up about what really happened in THAT locker room spat with a young Claude Giroux (@28CGiroux). He spoke at length about Giroux, asking for advice, and plenty more in the full interview. pic.twitter.com/UtTUiT7EpM
— Snow The Goalie: A Flyers Podcast & Radio Show (@SnowTheGoalie) June 10, 2020
More after the jump:
So here’s how it played out. I was playing with a broken hand and, you know, we’re trying to, we had just come off playing in the Stanley cup finals and learning how to play the game and learning how to win and I’m playing with a broken hand and we’re winning 3-1 or 4-1 against Edmonton and there’s like 8 minutes left in the game and G gets a puck, I’m going to go change and he turns the puck over at the red line. All he had to do was get it in. I’m yelling, “I need a change,” and he turned it over. Somebody comes racing back down. Now I’m mad he didn’t get it in, you know, we’re trying to learn how to win here. The guy comes down on me, I punch him with my glove, my hand just explodes and now I’m pissed off and my hand’s sore and now I get the puck back and I get it out. And now I’m screaming at him as I’m on the bench. I’m screaming at him like, “Get the puck in deep god damn it!” You know, whatever. And then the game’s over, we win, we’re in the locker room and he’s walking out and I’m walking out and he’s like, “Hey, I want to talk to you,” and I go, “Yeah? What’s up?’ He’s like, “I didn’t appreciate you yelling at me.” I go, “Well get the fucking puck in.” I go, “You don’t want to be yelled at, we’re trying to win.” He’s like, “Well you didn’t have to single me out like that.” I go, “Why not? Why didn’t you get it in?” And, you know, we had a conversation. There was nobody yelling, there was nobody losing their marbles. He was just like, “Show a little bit more respect for me and just pull me aside and talk to me.” I said, “Okay if that’s the way you want it, sure.” So it happened to be right in front of the door as the media is standing there and then I don’t think anything of it, I go, “Okay, G, whatever.” Then, you know, just kind of walk in and ice my hand and do whatever and all of a sudden, “There’s mutiny in the locker room,”, “The players are fighting with each other,” and “Oh my god, Giroux and Pronger had a knockdown drag out.” And I’m like, “What are they talking about?”
It’s worth noting a couple of things about this exchange. The first thing is the stark contrast in leadership styles, as Pronger was notorious for being a boisterous leader on the bench, on the ice, and in the locker room. Giroux has more of a quiet, introverted appearance when speaking to the media and is more of a lead-by-example type guy on the ice. Multiple players have noted that when Giroux speaks in the locker room, his demeanor changes a bit and his words carry a certain weight, as a captain’s words should.
With that in mind, imagine a 23-year-old Claude Giroux standing up for himself, advocating for a different approach to his captain voicing displeasure and coaching him. If you listen to the whole interview -which you obviously should- Pronger goes on to talk about how at some point in his tenure as captain of the Flyers, Giroux reached out to Pronger to ask for his advice on handling a situation within the locker room. Pronger’s words of wisdom? “Well, you know what to do, G!”
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