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Flyers' Giroux disappointed in Canada's decision

by Mike G. Morreale

NEWARK, N.J. -- Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux received the news he wouldn't be headed to the 2014 Sochi Olympics for Canada while preparing for his team's morning skate at Prudential Center on Tuesday.

It wasn't easy.

"[Canada general manager] Steve Yzerman called me [Tuesday] morning; it was a quick talk," Giroux said. "It's obviously disappointing. It was one of my dreams to play for Canada but there's a lot of good players from Canada and the names announced are talented, good players. It's disappointing, but it happens."

Giroux acknowledged the best medicine was the fact he'll lead his club in a Metropolitan Division game with the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.

"Some believe everything happens for a reason, and if I didn't make this team, there's a reason behind it," he said. "But I'm not upset or mad. It's a tough day, but it's a good thing I have a game so I can just put this behind me and keep moving forward."

Devils coach Peter DeBoer was surprised when informed Giroux was not named to the team.

"Wow," DeBoer said. "I'm a big fan. So for me, he's one of the top five or 10 guys on my list. But I'm not Steve Yzerman and not Hockey Canada, and those are tough decisions. That's my two cents."

Flyers coach Craig Berube was also a bit perplexed by the decision.

"I am surprised he didn't make it, but again, there are a lot of good players," Berube said. "It's not easy to pick those teams."

Giroux has been on an offensive tear for the rejuvenated Flyers in recent weeks. He has produced 12 goals and 38 points in 42 games this season. He's posted seven goals and 11 assists in the past 12 games for the Flyers, who are second in the Metropolitan with 46 points, ahead of the Washington Capitals because they have six more regulation/overtime wins.

"I'm disappointed for him," Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen said. "We had a slow start, him included, to the season. But over the last six or seven weeks, he's been the old Claude who we all know he can be. The way he's been playing, I was sure he would have been named to the team because it's always about who is playing good at that moment. He's been playing really well. I'm really surprised."

Giroux has never represented his country at the Olympics, but he did produce three goals and eight points in eight games for Canada at the 2013 IIHF World Championships.

He was asked if Yzerman explained why he was left off the roster.

"Those questions are for Team Canada," he said. "I'm the hockey player. I was there to put my product out and play the best I could. I didn't make it, so I have to move forward."

Jakub Voracek, who was named to the Czech Republic roster on Monday and will represent his country for the first time at the games, believes Giroux will continue to play with determination and confidence despite the news.

"He's a hard-working guy and a winner so I'm pretty sure to not get nominated … he'll bring his 'A' game to another level," Voracek said. "Like everyone else, he's probably [ticked] and we feel bad, but we're focusing on the Flyers. We have a job to do here. He understands that."


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