Flyers Captain Claude Giroux returned from the IIHF World Championships in Prague last week with a gold medal and no doubt a major feeling of accomplishment, especially after inexplicably being left off of Team Canada for the 2014 Winter Olympics. Here are three reasons why playing in the World Championships made Giroux a better Flyer for the upcoming NHL season.
Confidence. The past few NHL seasons, Giroux has gotten off to a slow start and ensuing dip in self confidence. Gathering 10 points in 10 games in the World Championships in May leads to a confident Giroux entering Flyers training camp in a few months ready to start the season in mid-season form.
Experience. Playing in Prague added valuable experience to Giroux’s already stellar resume. His World Championship teammates and opponents were some of the best in the world, and one cannot discount the benefit of being exposed to other coaches, arenas, etc. After all, learning is a lifelong experience.
Accolades. Giroux’s performance at the World Championships was very strong, and it earned him and Team Canada international accolades following their decisive gold medal victory over Russia. Accolades become part of a player’s resume and reputation and build a player’s confidence and experience. Flyers owner Ed Snider was recently asked how he feels about the Flyers core group of players heading into the upcoming season. The first thing he mentioned was the success of Giroux and several other Flyers at the World Championships. He knows that playing in Prague made Giroux a better Flyer.