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 Alexandre Giroux: NHL or AHL? Allow Anonymous Users Reply to This Topic...
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Posted - 09/04/2009 :  10:43:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Alexandre Giroux had a remarkable season with the Hershey Bears in 2008-09. So remarkable in fact, that the 60 goal scorer broke two AHL records last year. His 60 goals in the regular season and 15 in the playoffs gave him 75 goals overall, an AHL benchmark. Along the way Giroux also notched a 15-game goal scoring streak, breaking the previous record of 14 games held by Brett Hull. His 60 goals were a franchise record and only the fifth time a player has potted that many in league history.

As if that wasn't enough Giroux's team also won the Calder Cup, outlasting a powerful Manitoba Moose squad in six games. After it was all over, Giroux was voted as the AHL's Most Valuable Player.

One would think that a 60 goal season in the AHL would be enough to warrant a spot on an NHL club, but such is likely not the case with the 28-year-old Giroux. He spent most of the summer without a contract, and received offers from several teams including European clubs trying to lure him across the pond. After months of deliberating, the former 7th round pick of the Ottawa Senators finally signed a 1-year, 2-way contract with the Washington Capitals.

"I signed with the Capitals and not the Bears", said Giroux, obviously saying the obvious - that he thinks he can play in the NHL next season. "Hopefully, I will be with the Capitals, but if not, it will be nice to go to a team that has had success before."

The problem is that the Caps don't have much room on their roster. Odds are that the 6-2, 200 pound left winger will feel the squeeze when training camps break and the regular season beings but an injury here or there and a great preseason for Giroux could change that in a hurry. One would have thought that it may have been better for him to find a chance with an NHL team that may have needed his services, but it appears that the option was not available.

Giroux seems to have enough tools to succeed at the NHL level. He is no speed demon but he's a smooth skater. He doesn't have a rocket of a shot but it is very accurate. He's not a bruiser but he does have NHL size and is strong in the corners. And unlike other AHL stars who have yet to put it together at the NHL level such as Jason Krog and Ryan Shannon, Giroux has NHL size.

Would Alexandre Giroux be a decent pick in hockey pools? Keeping in mind he is 28 years old and it is unlikely that he will be a regular in the NHL this season, the odds are stacked against him. Perhaps poolies drafting in a very deep keeper league may take a chance on him and certainly his stock will rise if he does stick in the NHL. Similarly, Giroux's stock would rise if he ends up back in Hershey and can duplicate on his remarkable success from 2008-09.

In the end, Alexandre Giroux is probably best suited as a waiver wire pickup in yearly leagues for the time being, but keep a close eye on this late-blooming left winger who may have 25-goal upside in the NHL given the right situation.


Ray Irwin writes for www.SchoolYourPool.com, the most complete fantasy hockey advice website on the internet. Featuring player and prospect rankings and interviews, daily starting goalies, buy low/sell high, injury reports, goalie carousel, and lots more...come on over to www.schoolyourpool.com and Get Educated!

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