Updates from Thursday, July 3
“I regret my actions on Canada Day and sincerely apologize to my fans, teammates and the Philadelphia Flyers organization for my misguided attempt at humor.
Following an investigation, law enforcement determined that charges are not warranted. I have the utmost respect for law enforcement and apologize to the Ottawa Police Department and specifically the individual officer. I will be making no further public comment on this matter.
I will not be distracted from my ongoing preparation for the upcoming season. I remain 100% committed and focused on working with my team to return the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia.”
General manager Ron Hextall also made a brief statement on the matter:
“We’ve been in contact with Claude and the Ottawa Police Service and have been informed that no charges will be filed. Moving forward, we will deal with this incident internally and we will no longer publicly discuss this matter.”
Philadelphia Flyers star Claude Giroux is used to making headlines on the ice for his spectacular play, but the veteran forward made waves off the ice for all the wrong reasons Tuesday night.
According to Danielle Bell of the Ottawa Sun, Giroux was reportedly arrested outside The Great Canadian Cabin in Ottawa due to an incident involving a police officer. Per the report, Giroux allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a male officer repeatedly while under the influence of alcohol.
The Flyers announced they are aware of the reports:
"We are aware of reports surrounding Claude Giroux. Until we have more information, we will withhold making any further comment." -Hextall— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 2, 2014
While the lack of criminal charges is obviously good news for Giroux and the Flyers, the franchise can't be thrilled about its star's actions. Giroux is Philly's captain and best player, and he is coming off a season in which he was nominated as a finalist for the Hart Trophy.
The Flyers were essentially dormant on the first day of NHL free agency due to a lack of salary-cap flexibility, so their potential to improve during the 2014-15 season rests largely on Giroux's shoulders.
How should the Flyers handle Giroux in this situation?
Although this news may cause some to reevaluate Giroux's character, he has proven to be a good leader to this point. On the heels of fan favorite Scott Hartnell being traded to the Columbus Blue Jackets last week, Giroux stepped up and put things into perspective within the media, according to Nicholas J. Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports.
"It's shocking," Giroux said. "But it's the business side of it, and you've got to move on. You can't stop and start thinking about it too much. Everything happens for a reason. It could be good for him."
Giroux was masterful in navigating that situation, but he figures to have a much tougher task on his hands now. As the face of the Flyers franchise, his coaches and management have entrusted him to carry himself with class and dignity at all times.
He seemingly failed to do that Tuesday night in Ottawa. It's now up to him to ensure that he stays out of further off-the-ice trouble.
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