The Flyers are a team with many question marks heading into the upcoming season.
How will Ilya Bryzgalov perform after an up and down first season in Philadelphia?
What will the defense look like with the addition of Luke Schenn and the subtraction of Matt Carle?
How will Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier progress after successful rookie seasons?
All valid questions but all will have to wait until actual games are played, whenever that may be (We’ll get our answer in a few days!). One question, however, lingers on the mind of many; Who will be the 19th captain of the Philadelphia Flyers? Of course Chris Pronger could make a miraculous return from post concussion syndrome and resume his role as captain but that remains highly unlikely.
Mulling over the current roster there’s some obvious candidates to wear the “C”.
Danny Briere: Mr. Playoffs, Briere donned the “C” along with Chris Drury in Buffalo some years ago and would be great choice to assume that position with the Flyers. Why? His past experience in Buffalo and his drive to win along with his unbelievable knack to score big goals in big games at crucial moments. He also has a good reputation with the media, always answering every question and answering honestly. Danny, at 35 years of age, has three years left on his current contract and would be a nice transition to Claude Giroux who, many believe, will be the eventual captain.
Claude Giroux: The future of the Philadelphia Flyers, a franchise cornerstone. Giroux one day will wind up wearing the “C” but some feel it may not be time for the young star to take on such a important role with the team. The Mike Richards experiment, while successful at times, ultimately failed and he was shipped away to the Kings. Richards, of course, was 23 years old when he took over as captain and Giroux is 24 turning 25 in January. There is a case to be made for Giroux, however, the evidence lies in last springs epic playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. More specifically the opening minute of game 6 when he set the tone with a huge hit on Sidney Crosby and scoring the first goal in the eventual 5-1 series clinching win. Time will tell and if asked by Paul Holmgren, Giroux certainly wouldn’t turn down the opportunity as Simon Gagne was rumored to have done years back.
Kimmo Timonen: Here’s another guy with past experience as a captain. In 2006-2007, his last season in Nashville and only season wearing the “C”, Timonen led the Predators to 51 wins placing second in the Central Division behind the Detroit Red Wings. Kimmo is rock on defense logging career average of 22:40 seconds of ice time per game. Timonen’s name always comes up in the conversation about the captaincy and some feel he should have been named captain years ago when Richards was given the title. Like Danny Briere, Timonen would be a great transitional captain until Giroux is ‘ready’.