Claude Giroux has always had a weird streak. The Flyers captain can be seen on YouTube warbling a beery rendition of “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.” And then there was that incident last year where his golf club shattered in his hand and tore some tendons in his right index finger. No one ever really explained what made the club explode.
But none of those stories approaches Giroux’s bizarre arrest last week in Ottawa after he apparently grabbed the buttocks of a uniformed police officer at least twice. In the end, no charges were filed, possibly because the player provided a $20,000 donation to a police charity.
Two days after the incident, Giroux called his actions “a misguided attempt at humor.” Huh? A farmer’s-daughter joke is a misguided attempt at humor, or maybe a pie in the wrong face. Grabbing another man’s rear end is something else entirely — let alone a police officer’s derriere.
Everybody has been having a sustained chuckle over Giroux’s stupidity, but there is a sobering message behind his transgression. He is not exactly the kind of player destined to lead others to a championship. He does not deserve to be the captain of the Flyers.
Unfortunately for new GM Ron Hextall, his first test will be how he handles a story that has made his team the butt of every joke, so to speak. If any player deserved a trip to the penalty box, it is Giroux for his shenanigans in Ottawa.
At the very least, he deserves two minutes for holding, don’t you think?