Does Giroux have sights set on Clarke’s Flyer scoring record?

Claude Giroux (left) has a chance to break Flyers' Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke's team record of 1,210 points. (Photo by Len Redkoles).

No one thought Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games would ever be broken.

Until Cal Ripken came along.

In recent years, Gordie Howe’s mark of 1,767 NHL games played seemed unreachable.

Then a week ago, Patrick Marleau moved Howe’s standard from the record books to the history books.

Which brings us to one Flyer record which for decades has been looked upon as unattainable – namely Hall of Famer Bobby Clarke’s 1,210 points total.

Some 37 years after Clarke retired, a threat to that milestone is starting to appear, namely current captain Claude Giroux.

Giroux registered career point No. 850 in Sunday night’s 4-3 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils and moved past Brian Propp (849) into third place on the Flyers’ alltime list.

Next up is No. 2 Bill Barber and his total (883) should fall next season.

That would leave only Clarke to catch and, at age 33, there’s a possibility Giroux could do just that.

Next season (2021-22) will be the last on Giroux’s eight-year contract but he’s already made it clear he would like to play until about 40 and his preference would be with the Flyers.

“Like in life, you put goals up there even if they’re hard to achieve,’’ Giroux said during a media Zoom call after Monday’s practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. “Bobby Clarke had an amazing career, Hall of Famer, that’s a lot of points to get there.’’

Only a handful of Flyers have been able to start and finish their careers with the franchise. The list includes Clarke, Barber and Jimmy Watson.

In the current salary cap era, it’s increasingly hard to stay with one team from beginning to end, unless you’re someone like Sidney Crosby or Alexander Ovechkin.

Giroux might not be quite in that fraternity, but since he was drafted in 2006, his overall point totals match up with just about anybody on a yearly basis.

“One organization your whole career, it’s something to be proud of,’’ Giroux said. “This organization has a great reputation. Since I’ve been here, they’ve treated me great. So if I can (retire here), that would be great.’’

Giroux showed why is still a force in this league in Sunday night’s game when he scored a pair of goals just 22 seconds apart while the Flyers’ net was empty.

It was the first time in team history that a player scored two six-on-five goals in the same game.

According to defenseman Justin Braun, Giroux has the fortitude to go after the coveted franchise scoring mark.

“If he keeps playing as a Flyer, I think he can get there,’’ Justin Braun said. “His work ethic, his effort level is still there. He can still put the puck in the back of the net. Still a great passer.

“So, you know a lot of factors go into it. But I think if stays healthy he can get there.’’

>Zamula to make NHL debut

Defenseman Yegor Zamula, a highly touted prospect, is set to make his Flyers’ debut in Tuesday night’s game at New Jersey.

Vigneault plans to sit Samuel Morin again, partly to give Morin a breather. He’s coming off his second ACL surgery and the Flyers want to be conservative with his playing time.

Also, Morin’s game has slipped a bit recently.

Zamula, signed as an undrafted free agent, is considered the No. 2 defense prospect behind No. 1 Cam York, who also could make his NHL debut before the season is over.

The 21-year-old Zamula, a native of Russia, has been playing well with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms (17 games, five points, plus-2).

Vigneault said he plans to use Zamula with Travis Sanheim. Both played their junior hockey with the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League but not at the same time.

“He (Zamula) has been moving the puck well (with LVP),’’ Vigneault said. “I figured it was an opportunity for him to get a game in and see how he does.’’

>Lazcynski out four months after hip surgery

The Flyers announced on Monday forward Tanner Laczynski underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip and he will be sidelined for approximately 16 weeks.

In his five-game callup, Laczynski impressed Vigneault.

“I liked what Tanner did in those give games,’’ Vigneault said. “It was a very small sample. He’s a good two-way guy, smart, plays that 200-foot game.’’

>Frost skates but won’t play

Morgan Frost underwent shoulder surgery earlier this season and the prognosis was he would miss the rest of the 56-game campaign.

Frost did some skating with the taxi squad on Monday but Vigneault said the young center will not play in any of the Flyers’ remaining games.

“He’s coming along real well,’’ Vigneault said. “Everyday you see him in the gym working out. His shoulder is trending in the right direction.’’

>Hart still on hold

Goaltender Carter Hart did skate on Monday but won’t be ready for Tuesday’s game. The plan is to start Brian Elliott.

Meanwhile, there’s a chance Swedish prospect Felix Sandstrom might make his NHL debut in one of these final games. He’s been practicing with the taxi squad and will be the “No. 3’’ goalie for the time being.

“He (Hart) felt good when he came in this morning,’’ Vigneault said. “Hopefully he’s going on the ice with his pads in the next few days and close to coming back.’’

 

About Wayne Fish 1334 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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