Claude Giroux admitted he thought his move to left wing from center, the position he has played the last seven years, was a preseason experiment. The Flyers captain is taking the situation more seriously now.
When the Flyers open the 2017-18 regular season Wednesday in San Jose, Giroux is slated to line up on the left side of center Sean Couturier and right wing Jake Voracek – and has embraced the new role.
“I think just playing with the players that I’m playing with [makes it exciting],” Giroux said. “They make plays. They’re smart players. Hopefully our chemistry keeps building.”
Giroux is also hoping the shift is a catalyst to reverse a trend of declining production over the last three years. Since posting 86 points in 2013-14, he has finished with 73, 67 and 58 points, respectively.
The strategy is that at wing Giroux has less responsibility on defense and can take more risks on offense.
“It was actually a lot of fun,” Giroux said early in camp. “It’s not like I’m against it or I’m not happy with it. I’m up for it if it makes the team better.”
The Flyers are banking that it makes Giroux better as well.