New Jersey’s other pro hockey team just lost an icon
If you live in South Jersey and follow professional sports, you know more and hear more about the Philadelphia teams than New York or New Jersey teams. It's the thing I've explained a thousand times about the state being split into two media markets. South Jersey hockey fans follow the Philadelphia Flyers, not the New Jersey Devils.
It takes almost two hours to get to a Devils game for them and there's no media coverage of the team in the southern half of the state.
The Flyers have a huge fan base in South Jersey and even hold their practices there in Voorhees. Many of the players, current and former, are residents of South Jersey. Over the weekend it was officially announced that their captain, Claude Giroux (affectionately known as "G"), was traded to the Florida Panthers.
It was rumored to be happening last week as they celebrated his 1,000th game with the Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia. It was an emotional night with former teammates and his family present for a touching pre-game ceremony on the ice. See the ceremony below.
Everyone knew it was probably his last game with the team. A team he has been with for 16 years and was captain of for most of that time. Sixteen years with the same team is a very long time for any player in any professional sport.
With the trade deadline looming and top teams looking to strengthen their roster for the final push toward a championship, it was suspected he would go to finally have a chance at winning a Stanley Cup.
For many of us South Jersey hockey fans it was a huge blow. I felt like a little kid who was seeing his sports hero fade away.
Even though I'm not a rabid sports fan, it's been a part of my life since I was a kid, especially hockey. I'm sure we'll all get over it, and now at least we have some rooting interest for the playoffs and the finals which we haven't had in years.
Go G, we're pulling for you to drink from the cup.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.
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