On Tuesday morning Claude Giroux was downgraded to out indefinitely. He suffered a concussion Saturday night in an accidental collision with teammate Wayne Simmonds, and his symptoms kept getting progressively worse.
And when Philadelphia Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren updated reporters on the situation Tuesday evening in the press box at Verizon Center, his tone was less than optimistic.
“He skated a little bit today, didn’t feel that good. He just didn’t feel like himself,” Holmgren said. “I don’t know if there’s any good news in this other than after 15 minutes or so once he stopped skating, he did start to feel a little better.”
Giroux is the NHL’s leading scorer with 39 points and has been undoubtedly the Flyers’ best player in the absence of Chris Pronger, who’s also out indefinitely with a concussion.
But Holmgren insists nothing changes with Giroux out.
“We’re missing Claude and Chris Pronger – it’s pretty hard to replace those guys and other guys. I think it’s happened,” he said. “Other guys have played better. We’re just going to have to ask guys to continue to do the same thing.”
Giroux, meanwhile, will get Wednesday off and the team will revisit the situation Thursday, according to Holmgren, who said the 23-year-old star won’t get an outside opinion yet.
But he also won’t be rushed back.
“We’re just going to take it easy with Claude,” Holmgren said. “Obviously we’re concerned. Claude’s one of our better players and obviously off to a great start in this season. We’re going to air on the side of caution.”
That might mean restricting Giroux from what he wants to do on and off the ice.
“He’s a stubborn guy and he wants to get back in the lineup,” Holmgren said. “But we might have to just pull the reins on him.”
The concussion symptoms weren’t present the night of the injury. The GM said it was more like whiplash Saturday night. But it has gotten worse since.
“So much of it comes down to how the player feels. There’s times when Claude feels good, and then there’s times when he doesn’t,” Holmgren said. “We’re hoping it’s not that long.”