Paul Holmgren said he was "a little bit surprised" that Claude Giroux didn't make the Team Canada roster. (AP)
If you were surprised that Claude Giroux didn’t earn a roster spot on Team Canada for next month’s Olympics in Sochi, Russia, it turns out you weren’t the only one.
Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren was, too.
“I would say I was a little bit surprised,” Holmgren said. “I’m more disappointed for Claude. I know how badly he wanted to be named to the team. That’s a tough call. A lot of good players to choose from.”
Giroux, of course, did have a slow start to the year. It took him 15 games to score his first goal. Once he did, though, the entire Flyers team seemed to follow his turnaround. Before the Olympics roster due date, Giroux had piled up 12 goals and 26 assists after his rough beginning to 2013-14.
Ex-Flyer Jeff Carter ended up with the right wing spot on Team Canada that would have otherwise gone to Giroux.
Giroux’s chances of representing Canada, of course, aren’t totally dead. He is on a reserve list of players who could be called to Sochi in the case of injury to any players currently on the roster.
Erik Gustafsson has been out of the lineup since Dec. 21 with a sprained knee. While original estimates suggested he could have been back on the ice after just two weeks, Gustafsson took a bit more time.
He’s getting close, though, and could be back in time for Saturday afternoon’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Wells Fargo Center – it’s “possible,” Holmgren said.
“He’s doing better,” Holmgren said. “I would say he has a chance to play on the weekend.”