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Flyers’ MVP award tainted because of decision not to include Claude Giroux on ballot

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Claude Giroux, Philadelphia Flyers
The Philadelphia Flyers turned their back on long-time captain Claude Giroux by not including him on their awards ballot. Photo: Zack Hill.

The Philadelphia Flyers sent out awards ballots to the media Friday, with a stipulation.

A bad stipulation.

The stipulation: Only players on the current roster are eligible.

That means Claude Giroux, who would have received my first-place vote as the Bobby Clarke Trophy winner — given to the team’s MVP — cannot be on any of the ballots.

Giroux was traded to Florida last month.

From here, it would have been a close vote between Giroux and right winger Cam Atkinson.

It would have been interesting to see who emerged as the winner, succeeding three-time team MVP Sean Couturier, who played only 29 games this year because of season-ending back surgery.

Now, Atkinson, who will get my vote since Giroux has been declared ineligible, should beat out Travis Sanheim and Carter Hart for the honor.

Part of me understands why the Flyers have the stipulation to not include a player traded during the season. After all, they want to introduce the winner to the fans and make a big deal out of the presentation.

But isn’t it more important to make the right choice?

Atkinson has had a good season, just not quite as good as Giroux, who was the Flyers’ lone All-Star selection.

On merit.

Here are the numbers for both players with the Flyers:

Atkinson: 73 games played, 23 goals, 50 points, 215 shots, 20 hits, 45 blocks, 18:15 time-on-ice per game.

Giroux: 57 GP, 18 goals, 42 points, 154 shots, 48 hits, 15 blocks, 19:14 TOI per game.

During his time with the Flyers this season, Giroux, who played center and left wing, led the team by averaging 0.737 points per game. Atkinson averaged 0.685 points per game.

Giroux was among the NHL leaders in faceoffs, winning a career-high 60.9% of his draws with the Flyers this season.

The Philadelphia Flyers are 4-13 since he was traded to Florida for right winger Owen Tippett and two draft picks.

It would have been a fitting tribute for Giroux to win the Clarke Trophy. The Flyers could have had him deliver a pre-recorded acceptance speech on the scoreboard, and cheers would have echoed around the Wells Fargo Center.

Atkinson deserves cheers, too.

Like Giroux, Atkinson has been a good leader and a stand-up guy during a difficult season. He was having a productive season before getting banged up, contributing to a slump in which he has no goals in his last 12 games. Atkinson has missed the last four games because of an unspecified injury.

The first-year Flyer has been good.

Just not quite as good as Giroux, in my opinion.

But voters won’t be given the option to choose, and that just doesn’t seem right.

Breakaways

The Flyers (23-43-11) play in Montreal (20-46-11) on Thursday, and both teams will be trying to end six-game losing streaks. The Canadiens have won both meetings this season — 3-2 in a shootout, and 4-3 in overtime. Both teams are at the bottom of the league, or close to it, in most offensive and defensive categories.

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REC

The Flyers have a too long history of these type of decisions. They desperately need someone very sharp to run this organization and set the personality. This also tells me they have no intention of considering a return of Claude. Might be wishful thinking to believe attractive free agents want to come here. Hope not.

JEFFERY SAVAGE

REC I too, know that the Flyers organization is as stupid as they can be in making these kind of decisions. They have done this since I started following them in 1975 in tenth grade when I was in highschool. They treated Hexy mean as well. I think that is why he decided to go the Pens.Whenever, they do get someone decent that is a fan favorite they treat them worse than you would your pets. It really hurts me that they treated Claude Giroux like they did. Using him, and them keeping off of the Flyers MVP Ballot. I can imagine that if he does find out that he was left off of the ballot that on the inside he will be crying. :Orange and Black were in his blood. He was a true Flyer in every sense of the word.
J.S. Flyers and Giroux fan from Denver, CO

Joe

Is there such a thing as ‘the curse of Mike Richards?

J.A.

Treated Hexy mean? How so? He stunk as a GM.

JEFFERY SAVAGE

Forgive me Sam for what I am about to say but it STINKS!! to have the Flyers organization leave Claude Giroux off of he Flyers MVP Ballot. It makes me so damn mad that they would hurt him in this way. He gave his heart and soul to the Flyers for Fifteen Years!!! What is the management thinking??? Was hoping that G. and the Flyers would come to some sort of agreement after he becomes an UFA this summer. He wanted to retire as a Flyer!! He said it many, many times. Now that I think about it, maybe Mr. Zito of the Panthers will offer him a new contract with the Panthers especially if they win the cup. If he does, I hope G. takes it. If not then I think the Flyers should give him the chance to have him retire as a Flyer. Wherever he goes or what he does I will still follow him along with the Flyers.

Jeffery Savage, Diehard Flyers and C. Giroux fan from Denver, CO

Craig Rittase

This organization has been a disappointment since Keith Allen retired as GM. From GM Bob Clarke refusing to pay Brad McCrimmon in 1987, to his mishandling of the Lindros era – both failing to build a team around Lindros and ultimately the way the handled him, to the current coaching carousel. While Ed Snider was a good owner who stepped back and let Keith Allen run the organization during the 70’s and early 80’s he became victim of his own hubris, which has dragged this once proud Flyers organization down to one of the worst in the NHL. 6 times missing the playoffs in the last 10 seasons. 3 times eliminated in the first round. This team has only made it to the second round of the playoffs once in the past 10 years. Not to mention this organization’s inability to draft and develop talent. Snider, Clarke, Holmgren, Dave Scott have all had their hands on the pile of ruin that is now the Philadelphia Flyers. Turn their back on Claude Giroux? Why am I not surprised

Brandon C. Dougherty

Recount! Take it to the Supreme Court! I understand it but don’t agree with it either.

J.A.

It’s petty to get mad over this considering Giroux has never brought a Cup to Philly. He’s the most overrated Flyer of all time and worst Captain ever. Please stop kissing his ass!

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