Who's cutting onions in here? Saturday’s game was bound to be a tearjerker with Claude Giroux returning to Philadelphia for the first time since being traded last year. The All-Star forward played exactly 1,000 games for the Flyers, second-most behind only Hall-of-Famer Bobby Clarke. As expected, Giroux received a warm welcome from fans at Wells Fargo Center, who greeted him with a standing ovation, preceded moments earlier by a tribute video on the jumbotron.
The 34-year-old Canadian has now played his former team twice in the past week, scoring his 300th career goal when the Flyers visited Ottawa last Saturday. Giroux debuted for Philadelphia in 2008, appearing in the Stanley Cup two years later, though the Flyers would ultimately lose in six games. He was named captain in 2013, a position Giroux held until Florida acquired him at last year’s trade deadline. Giroux spent 28 games there (playoffs included) before joining the Senators, who he signed a three-year contract with this offseason.
If Giroux was feeling any added pressure being back in Philadelphia, he didn’t show it on the ice, logging two assists in a 4-1 Ottawa victory. Giroux will probably be the next Flyer to have his number retired, joining Clarke, Eric Lindros, Bernie Parent, Mark Howe, Barry Ashbee and Bill Barber in the stadium rafters. He’ll deserve it too, ranking second among all-time Flyers in career points (900), second in assists (609), third in shots (2,597), eighth in goals (291) and eighth in power-play goals (84).