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GIROUX

December 30th, 2010 · No Comments

“Right now, they’re all messed up, my thoughts,” Giroux said. “A lot of things are coming into my head. It’s kind of hard to come back every year to NHL camp and have some goals to accomplish; my goal is to always prove that I can play good in the AHL to come back in the NHL. Last year, with the team we had, the season I had, personally, I don’t think I can do more than that to prove that I can.

“They focused on four games in preseason instead of 106 games last year. So that’s why it’s hard for me to refocus on new goals. But it’s a team sport. We’ve got a great team, great guys in the room.”

Giroux vowed to gain that focus in time for Saturday’s regular-season opener.

“A lot of guys was smiling to see me back here today,” he said. “I was probably the only one who was not smiling. As soon as I step on the ice, this is life, this is my job. So I cannot be disappointed the rest of my life. I get on the ice. I do what I like. I play hockey and I like it. In a couple days I’ll be fine. At the beginning of the season, I’ll be ready to go.”

Bears head coach Mark French applauded Giroux’s practice effort.

“I think he is a professional,” French said. “All I asked is he came out and worked hard in practice, and he did.”

Alexandre Giroux couldn’t have picked a better time to be on the verge of becoming an unrestricted free agent.

While his point totals for the current American Hockey League season are simply staggering, the Hershey Bears forward added to his personal collective of hardware and also came up with the most important piece of jewelry, at least at this level: a Calder Cup ring.

The Hershey Bears capped a Calder Cup championship last night with a 4-1 victory over the Manitoba Moose before a crowd of 15,003 at the MTS Centre.

Just as he was during the regular season when he produced 60 goals and 97 points to lead the AHL in both categories, Giroux followed up a regular season with 15 goals and 28 points in 22 post-season games.

During the championship final, Giroux also came up huge, scoring a hat trick in Game 1 that included the overtime winner.

He also set up the game-winner in Game 4 and finished with six goals and eight points in the championship final.

Giroux finished the post-season on a 13-game point streak and established a new AHL record for most goals in a campaign, including regular season and playoffs, with 75.

“I’m sure somebody is going to do it again,” said Giroux, who turns 29 in August. “When I go on the ice, I don’t think about that. I just try to help the team win. I don’t want to be the guy who just gets goals and can’t play defensively or can’t play physical, especially in playoff-time. I like to get involved in the game.”

The parent Washington Capitals are expected to try to get a deal done before Giroux becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but if they don’t there should be several teams interested in his services.

“I hope so,” said Giroux, originally a seventh round pick of the Ottawa Senators in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. “I hope the guys in Washington or another team in the league will see that what I did was a good job and hopefully, I get some calls this summer from teams that are interested in me. Hopefully, that leads me to the NHL.”

Bears head coach Bob Woods expects Giroux will get plenty of calls, if it comes to that.

“We’ve seen a lot of amazing things out of him and he’s scored some pretty goals,” said Woods. “We’ve witnessed first-hand and he’s just a special player. He knows what to do when he’s in a scoring position and he’s stepped up his game.

“In this day and age, where everybody is looking for somebody that can score goals, somebody is going to give him a serious look.”

Before the period was out, AHL MVP Alexandre Giroux intercepted a cross-ice pass by Guillaume Desbiens, went in on a breakaway and made a nifty move to the backhand before sliding the puck past Cory Schneider.

With the goal, Giroux extended his points streak to 13 consecutive games and now has a league-best 15 goals and 28 points in 22 post-season contests.

Alex Giroux has got one heck of a shot, and he showed it off in the second period when he rifled a power-play one-timer (from Keith Aucoin) off of goalie Cory Schneider and into the net to put the Bears ahead, 2-0.

Giroux now has 74 goals in the regular season and playoffs combined, which is an AHL record. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent, but with those numbers, seems to me he’s going to earn a one-way contract from someone next season.

sports.webshots.com

December, 2000

Alexandre Giroux:
Was invited to Canadian National Junior selection camp but was among first cuts. Among the leaders in QMJHL with 63 points in 38 games playing for the Hull Olymiques.

Top Prospects Camp 07/13/2002

Alexandre Giroux- If not for Jason Spezza, Alexandre could have stuck out as the most impressive stickhandler at camp. I have seen him perform quite a bit, and Giroux always looks good enough to deserve high marks. I wish I could have seen just a bit more spunk and aggressiveness from him, but Giroux didn’t look out of place playing along the likes of Vermette, Klepis and Spezza. Something tells me that Giroux will have to be more than simply ‘good’ at training camp. His ability to play the body is a strength, and he’ll have to employ it to the fullest this fall.

2003

Alexandre Giroux

Giroux has been a surprise in camp and preseason thus far, scoring goals and getting in a scrap with the veteran Jamie Pushor. The 22-year-old left wing plays a solid two-way game. Giroux is a former Hull Olympique and had a solid season in Bingo last year with 19 goals, 35 points and more than 100 PIMs. Probability for NHL action: 40%.

spring, 2005

15. (NR) Alexandre Giroux, LW – 23 – Hartford, AHL
Drafted: 7th Round (213th overall) in 1998 (Ottawa), Grade: 6C, Projection: Depth forward

Acquired from Ottawa in the Greg de Vries trade, Giroux has been a bright spot in his first full season as a member of the Hartford Wolf Pack. He led the team in goals with 32 and points with 54 and also posted 128 penalty minutes. A speedy skilled player, Giroux has worked hard to improve his play since he was drafted. This season marked another step forward in terms of consistency and defensive play as well.

Although Giroux still requires further development, he could see an NHL call-up when play resumes if he continues to produce the way he has. He has the potential to become a regular forward in the NHL if he can put all the pieces together.

autumn 2005

Alexandre Giroux, who scored 54 points in 78 games with Hartford last season, was the highest scorer among the forwards that are returning to the team. Giroux, a 6’3, 195 lb center, who was acquired in 2004 from Ottawa, will begin his fifth season in the AHL. His scoring production has increased each year he has remained with the club, and the Wolf Pack are expecting him to continue to be an offensive force this year.

may, 2007

Alexandre Giroux, C
6′3, 201 lbs
Jun 16, 1981
Signed as UFA in 2006

Giroux was expected to be a depth forward who could contribute when called upon to do so.  While having a remarkable season in the AHL, the Capitals called on him to fill in, and add some potential offense to their roster.  In his limited time playing reserve forward for Washington, he played very well, leaving the door open for more opportunities at the NHL level in the future.

When the injury bug hit the Capitals in December, Giroux was called up as a replacement.  He made his Capitals debut on Dec.19, and stayed up for two games, in which he did not record a point.  He was reassigned to Hershey on Dec. 26, once Capitals regulars began returning from injury.  He stayed in the AHL until March 2, and after seven games was reassigned to Hershey again despite having 2 goals and 2 assists in those seven games.

Giroux averaged 10:11 minutes of ice time per game, and scored 2 goals and 2 assists in nine games played.  His AHL numbers were much better, finishing second in the AHL in goals, and also second in plus/minus with +29.  In the AHL playoffs, Giroux has 10 points in 12 games.

With the lack of depth in the Capitals lineup, Giroux could be a utility player that the Capitals continue to count on.

October, 2007

Another candidate for the top line is Alexandre Giroux, though as a center, he may be better suited to pivot on the second line.  He had a career-high 42 goals and 70 points in 67 games for the Hershey Bears last year.  Along with a trip to the Calder Cup finals with the Bears, he also played nine games for theWashington Capitals.

He’ll be joined up front by Alexandre Giroux, a retread in the Washington Capitals organization, who is picking up where he left off the last time he was in Hershey.

If Giroux, who also has an AHL-best 18 goals, gets into the lineup tonight in Carolina, it will be his 11th NHL game and first since the 2006-07 season

Touch returns — The very last thing that Hershey forward Alexandre Giroux could afford to forget when he went off to Washington was his scoring touch. But unfortunately for him, it was hardly anywhere to be seen when he was up there last month.
He certainly knows where to find it when he’s in “Chocolatetown” though.

In his six games back with the Bears, the veteran has 10 goals and 4 assists. That follows an 11-game stint with the Caps in which he tallied 1 goal and, by his own count, failed on six breakaways.

“It’s mental. Here (in the AHL), it’s more natural,” Giroux said. “Over there, you are thinking too much. (It’s) better goalies, for sure. I get too excited. You see yourself scoring before you actually do. But Washington knows I can score.”

Pretty much everyone who watches him play can write that on their scouting report. Giroux leads the league with 28 goals and his 11-game goal-scoring streak entering this week was AHL’s longest in almost three years.

“I want to come back, prove them wrong, show I should’ve stayed up there,” Giroux said. “I was not upset (when he was demoted). I was disappointed. You work hard to get the call. Maybe in different circumstances, I would still be there.”

The American Hockey League announced today that left wing Alexandre Giroux of the Hershey Bears has been named the winner of the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s most valuable player for the 2008-09 season, as voted by coaches, players and members of the media in each of the league’s 29 cities.

Named a 2008-09 First Team AHL All-Star last week, Giroux has played 66 games this season and scored 57 goals, the sixth-highest total ever in the AHL and the most by a Hershey Bear in the 71-year history of the franchise. In addition to his historic goal output, Giroux has set career highs in assists (37) and points (94), tying him with teammate Keith Aucoin for the overall AHL scoring lead heading into the final weekend of the regular season. He is also tied for the league lead with 21 power-play goals and sits one off the league lead with eight game-winning goals, and he ranks fifth among AHL forwards with his plus-24 rating.

Giroux broke one of the AHL’s most impressive records by scoring a goal in 15 consecutive games, bettering the league mark of 14 previously held by future Hockey Hall of Famer Brett Hull. Giroux scored 22 goals in those 15 games, a streak that was interrupted by five separate NHL recalls by the parent Washington Capitals. It was also part of a run in which Giroux tallied a point in 23 consecutive games, the longest such streak in the AHL this season. Giroux, who was voted to the starting lineup for the 2009 AHL All-Star Classic, has had 12 multiple-goal games this year, including a four-goal effort on Jan. 4 at Worcester.

A native of Quebec City, Giroux has recorded 255 goals and 211 assists for 466 points in 564 career AHL games entering the weekend. His one goal and one assist in 12 games with Washington this season give him six points (3g, 3a) in 22 career NHL contests.

Giroux needed less than 24 hours to record nine points after being reassigned to Hershey by the Capitals on Saturday afternoon. That night in Hartford, the former Wolf Pack forward burned his former club for a goal and three assists to help the Bears to a 6-2 victory. Then on Sunday afternoon, Giroux tied an AHL season high with four goals and added an assist as Hershey wrapped up its weekend road swing with a 7-2 win at Worcester.

Alexandre Giroux made an important decision late last season that, in the short term, cost him a championship ring.

The high-scoring winger from Quebec City was on one of the best teams in the American Hockey League and averaging nearly a point per game, but things weren’t going as smoothly as he’d hoped.

The Chicago Wolves had too many veterans and Giroux was occasionally a healthy scratch, so he asked for a trade back to the Hershey Bears, where he had 42 goals and 70 points in 67 games and also had a chance to play nine NHL games with the Washington Capitals.

Giroux missed out on a Calder Cup, but got his career back on track and put the fun back in his game. After scoring three goals in Game 1 against the Manitoba Moose, Giroux is three wins away from capturing a championship.

“It was a good team in Chicago and it was a big decision for me to ask for a trade to come back to Hershey,” said Giroux, a seventh round pick in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Ottawa Senators. “When you got back to an organization that believes in you, then you play a little bit better. So far, so good.”

Winning a title would be the perfect way to end the season for Giroux, who was named AHL MVP in April after a 60-goal, 97-point campaign.

“He’s a dangerous player,” said Moose head coach Scott Arniel. “He doesn’t need much space. He has a great shot and he’s got great accuracy. He gets it off quick. If you give him a couple of opportunities, he’s going to bury them. You have to know where he is all the time.”

With his game-winner Saturday, Giroux now has the most overtime goals in AHL history with four.

The other three OT winners came against the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, including two in 2007 and another last spring.

“He’s a big-game guy and that’s why he’s in the situation that he’s in,” said Bears head coach Bob Woods. “You look for those type of things, for your big players to step up and score big goals and that was definitely the case.

“We’ve seen a lot of amazing things from him all year. He had a 15-game goal streak (to break Brett Hull’s 22-year-old AHL record of 14), he scored 60 goals and this was just another step for him.”

Alexandre Giroux set many records as a member of the Hershey Bears during the 2008-09 season. The biggest one for him was breaking Brett Hull’s 22-year old record for goals in consecutive game. He also set a BEARS franchise record by score 60 goals during the season, break Tony Cassolato’s record of 53 set during the 1982-83 season.

Giroux enjoyed a career year in the chocolate and white. He set career highs for goals (60), assist (37) and points (97). In addition to his record breaking season in HERSHEY, Giroux also scored his first NHL goal in two years with the Washington Capitals.

Chris Rahn: When did you realize you could break Brett Hull’s record?
Alexandre Giroux: When I came back (from Washington). Guys started mentioning it around game 9, 10 and 11. I scored in game 12 and Woody said ‘good job keeping this thing going’ and I was like oh yeah that’s right. After that I was just looking to tie the record, and when I got close I thought it would be cool to break it.

Chris Rahn: During the game when you set the record, did you begin to wonder as the game went on if you were going to break the record?
Alexandre Giroux: Not in the first. I didn’t try to think about it. I remember that game; I had quite a few shots, sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don’t. I was hoping it wasn’t one of these games. Between the second and third, I looked at the clock and was alright I got 20 minutes to do it.

Chris Rahn: What was your feeling after you set the record?
Alexandre Giroux: I didn’t know what was going on. I came back to the bench and all the guys, and I saw Doug come and I realized it was something special. We had champagne in the room afterwards.

Chris Rahn: Statistically you had your best season. How would you rate your season?
Alexandre Giroux: I think its all team. The team’s been in first position all year, so that helps. If we were a last place team in the league, I don’t think I could do as good as I did. Playing with Keith Aucoin and Graham Mink obviously helps. I mean, I think we have lots of good players here, but Keith is good with the puck, and Graham and I are more like pinchers, so the combination of our two helped a lot.

Chris Rahn: You’ve played for several different AHL teams, where does Hershey rank among your favorites?
Alexandre Giroux: It’s got to be here for sure. I like everywhere I played to be honest, but two years ago when we went to the finals, that was something special and we always always talk about it. You can tell now, they’re all in Washington and do well. I came back here last year and that was a fun group; even though we went out in the first round of the playoffs.

Chris Rahn: What’s in been like playing on a line with Aucoin and Mink, arguably the best line in the AHL?
Alexandre Giroux: I think we are when we play our best. There are so many good players in this league and every team always has their number one line and their always just as good. With Keith, he’s played about 40 games in the NHL, and with Graham Mink, he’s been around a while. The combinations of the three of us do a good job of covering all the activity on the ice.

Chris Rahn: How much did it play on your mind as you closed in on HERSHEY’S single season goal record?
Alexandre Giroux: I’m not going to lie, I thought about it for sure. I got 50 and I think that was amazing, I was really proud of that.

Chris Rahn: Which record means more? Consecutive games with a goal or HERSHEY’S single season goals record.
Alexandre Giroux: To be honest, I think the 15 in a row. I think that’s a hard thing to do. I think that was something special to do, score one goal a game, but I think that record’s pretty special.

Chris Rahn: How do you normally spend the offseason?
Alexandre Giroux: Usually I take a trip somewhere and try to relax. I have a friend in Switzerland, and I’ve been there six times over the past couple of years. After that, I want to go back home and take two weeks off. I train every day with a couple of guys back home, we actually skate 2-3 days each week. I love fishing; going fishing with my family and friends. I have a tennis membership and I go there during the week. Summer goes by just like that.

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