One of the greatest Bears of all-time has finally left for a legitimate shot to stick in the NHL. Bears first line Left Wing Alexandre Giroux signed a one-way NHL contract with the Edmonton Oilers early Saturday morning.
Per Mitch Beck of Howlings, Giroux had several good offers on the table and chose Edmonton because he gets to play in front of an old mentor:
The Quebec City native will be reunited with ex-Rangers coach Tom Renney. The left handed shooting Center played for Renney in the one game he got in with the Rangers back in 2005. In that game he played just three shifts and drew a key penalty on the second shift that led to a power play goal.
Giroux told Howlings, that he had other NHL options, including an offer from the New York Islanders. He also had a much more substantial $1.3mm offer from the KHL that he leaves on the table in order to complete his dream of being a regular NHL player. He does it with no regrets. “It was a lot of money and it was a hard decision, but I’m really excited to have this chance to make an NHL roster,” the recently turned 29-year old said. “Coach Renney is a great coach and the organization has such a great history. I’m looking forward to going there and giving it everything I’ve got to help the team become a contender once again and prove I belong there.”
Giroux leaves behind a league in which he completely dominated. His vast accomplishments in Hershey include the following:
- In 2008-09 Giroux was named the AHL MVP. He lead the league in goals (60) and points (98) while playing an abbreviated schedule (69 games) due to an extended 12 game stint in Washington. In total he played 21 games with the Capitals where he totaled 2G and 3A.
- His 60 goal achievement in 2008-09 was an AHL record.
- Also an AHL Record: The Rooster scored goals in 15 consecutive games. The previous owner of the record was none-other-than Brett Hull.
- In 2009-10, Alexandre followed up his MVP season by once again leading the league in goals with 50. The next closest AHL player was his own linemate in Andrew Gordon, who finished the year with 37.
- Giroux also managed to score 5 more points than he did in 2008-09 and go over the century mark (103) for the first time in his 6 year professional career.
- Giroux leaves the Bears second all-time in playoff scoring. He was only four points off Mike Nykoluk for the franchise lead.
- He won back-to-back championships with Hershey in 2008-09 and 2009-10.
I will always remember Giroux as a player who simply was a scoring machine. I will also remember him for being the guy that almost ran me over on the ice after the Bears won the Calder Cup again this year. Well good luck G and I hope to see you return to Washington in an Oilers jersey sometime soon! You’ll be missed!
Other Notes: The Washington Capitals – who have been asleep at the wheel since the Free Agent Doors opened Thursday – signed Goalie Dany Sabourin who is expected to back up Braden Holtby in Hershey next year… Hershey’s third string goalie Jason Bacashihua signed with the Colorado Avalanche today and will play in Lake Erie next year… Kyle Wilson, who had a multiple game stint in Washington last year, was signed by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Wilson was a 50pt producer in Hershey. His departure further hurts the Capitals’ center depth… Count out Brendan Morrison as one of the options to return to the Capitals via free agency. In this in-depth interview with The Province, B-Mo rips the organization and stresses the team made no adjustments to it’s 1 for 34 powerplay in the playoffs. Worth a read.