LAS VEGAS -- If any hockey executive is somehow still uncertain whether Claude Giroux can deliver on the biggest stages, the Philadelphia captain's MVP performance in the NHL All-Star Game demonstrated his skills under pressure one more time.
Giroux scored three goals and the Metropolitan Division beat the Central Division 5-3 on Saturday in the final 3-on-3 match to win the NHL All-Star Game.
Giroux excelled under the bright lights as he nears a critical moment in his career: It's well-known around the NHL that the 34-year-old star could be on the move before next month's trade deadline after spending his entire career with the Flyers.
"I'm not going to think about this right now,'' Giroux said. "Just enjoy the weekend. There's a lot of things to figure out, but that's for another day.''
The seven-time All-Star won his first MVP award with two goals in the final and another in the semifinal. Giroux also picked up the $1 million check shared among the winning players as the captain of the Metropolitan squad -- a job he got at late notice in place of Alex Ovechkin, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.
"It's funny how everybody was just on the same page today, when we had never played together before,'' Giroux said.
Giroux clearly took the All-Star showcase seriously, even if he was thinking more about a relaxing weekend with his family than his NHL future. After 985 career games in Philly, Giroux is an asset that could be cashed in by Philadelphia before he hits unrestricted free agency this summer.
"Anytime you represent your team, it's been an honour to put that jersey on,'' Giroux said. "For 14 years, it's been a lot of fun, and to represent that team is great.''