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Giroux's Injury Hits Hard

 

The statement was deafening, as if a booming voice was speaking it over a loudspeaker.

"Claude reported not feeling very good today. Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse.  He will be out indefinitely with a concussion"

Not feeling very good, gotten worse, out indefinitely?

Oof.

In a year where Claude Giroux was proving his superstar-like talent every night in the NHL, it’s stunning. With one hit, those who have grown accustomed to watching the Hearst, Ontairo native are now relegated to the waiting game.

Sound familiar?

It’s eerie timing in the wake of the latest news regarding Sidney Crosby. Crosby, the game’s ubermensch is out for as long as symptoms still remain. Sadly, the let down after what many thought would be his final, and maybe last, return seems to tell the tale of the future.

Can Crosby put together a full season? Does the NHL face the loss of the game’s greatest talent?

A brief time later, Flyers fans are faced with a similar question regarding Giroux. While the word indefinitely strikes fear in the minds of those who read it, it's not a synonym for eternity.

In Philadelphia, the concussion problem is all too familiar. The biggest case being Eric Lindros, the hockey hulk who lost his career to head injuries.

The concussions are making their way back into the Flyers problems this week, with Brayden Schenn and Chris Pronger missing time for the same injury.

Now, the quiet room has a seat for Giroux. In the short-term, it’s an unfortunate break for the Flyers. They’ve been coming together and showing their potential as one of the league’s top teams. Giroux has been at the center of all of it, literally and figuratively.

Some may think it safe to assume that Giroux’s success this year has come with the help of Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell and their fantastic numbers thus far. Those numbers exist because of Giroux. Any nightly observer would say that with absolute certainty.

Quite simply, Giroux is what makes the Flyers go. He’s deserved every letter of every column about his Hart Trophy potential this season. He’s been a spectacle to watch, the forward who is finally the homegrown top player Ed Snider has anticipated.

Philadelphia will undoubtedly suffer without Giroux on the ice. It’s not a matter of that as much as it’s a matter of how much they’ll suffer. They’ll put a rookie in Sean Couturier on the first line in place of Giroux.

Rookies don’t replace early Hart Trophy candidates seamlessly. No one does.

Despite the impact Giroux’s injury may or may not have on the product on the ice, that’s not what Tuesday’s announcement is about.

It’s about the health of a young man. Not a hockey player, but a young man. The young man who is considerate, hard working, and garners the respect of those around him.

That young man is out, and there’s no way of knowing when he’ll play again or if he’ll be a shell of himself when he does.

The booming voice, its deafening statement, and the current climate of the NHL’s head injuries made that clear.

 

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