Back in early April at Flyers cleanout day, Claude Giroux was asked about outside criticism.
He said none of it fazed him much — essentially in one ear, out the other.
"I'm probably the toughest person to judge myself," Giroux said then. "I'm really hard on myself. What you guys write and say, it doesn't really bother me."
Jeremy Roenick isn't so sure about that.
The former Flyers center and current NBC hockey analyst had a message for Giroux on Friday. Roenick made clear how much he admires and enjoys the Flyers' captain. His words actually came across as more caring and supportive than critical and demeaning.
"I'm going to be looking at one of my favorite players in the league and a guy who I really respect and love, and that's Claude Giroux," Roenick said, addressing the state of the Flyers on CSN's Philly Sports Talk.
"He's a stud. He's a stud."
"The reason why Claude Giroux doesn't get success is [because] he lets everything get into his mind and he looks for other things to blame it on," Roenick said. "Claude Giroux can play this game and he can play it at a high, hard level. He's just got to get back into the inside of the game, start attacking the game and not worrying about what the media or the fans are saying about Claude Giroux, period. Because he is a world-class player that can make a difference, and that's why he has the 'C' on his chest."
As we all know, the Flyers are coming off their third postseason absence in the last five seasons. Prior to that, the organization had missed the playoffs just twice over its previous 18 seasons.
In 2016-17, Giroux, who will turn 30 next year, posted a career low in goals for a full season (14) and a fourth straight drop-off in points (58). As tough as they come, Giroux played all 82 games but didn't look 100 percent healthy for much of the season. He's the type of player to never admit an injury or playing while hurt, but he even opened up a bit about the difficulties of last season.
"When you try to do something and you can't do it; your mind wants to do something but your body doesn't do it, it's frustrating," he said in April.
"But you've got to keep working on your game, get stronger and faster. I'm very excited to have a whole summer to work out and really do what I want to do."
That's what Roenick would love to see from Giroux next season.
"You win and you lose with your best player," he said.
So Roenick left Giroux with this.
"If I was sitting in front of Claude Giroux right here today, I would say, 'You need to make amends and you need to have a bounce-back season and show everybody why you have been one of the better players over the last five years and last year was just a bad-luck situation,'" he said. "This team is going to run on Claude Giroux, Wayne Simmonds and Jake Voracek.
"If Claude is watching right now, I love you to death, put it back together, show everybody why you're one of the best competitors in the game and get back up into that top-scoring aspect. And don't worry about slumps and don't worry about what people think of you, just be Claude Giroux. And if he does that, this team is going to prosper."