Early on July 2, the hockey world was shaken to its core when the Ottawa Sun reported that Claude Giroux had been arrested. The charge? Grabbing the sweet buttocks of a police officer -- a move that has led some to label the incident "Buttgate."
Being Broad Street Hockey's number one source for piping hot exclusive reportage, upon hearing the news I immediately tightened my Trusted Reporter™ corset and high-tailed it up to Ottawa to speak to some eyewitnesses.
After interviewing dozens of patrons and employees that were present at The Great Canadian Cabin during the incident, I was able to get to the bottom of the night's events.
Witnesses claim that Giroux arrived at the bar around 6:30 p.m. with an Ed Hardy adorned Jay Rosehill, Giroux's well-known drinking buddy. The pair immediately proceeded to do body shots off female patrons -- an idea that was apparently pushed repeatedly by the Flyers' star pugilist.
After downing about four shots, Giroux allegedly approached the bar to order a drink not served on the crevices of a human body. When I asked Krut Slagathor -- the bartender on duty that night -- about Giroux's behavior, he claimed this proved to be the turning point of the night.
"Honestly, he seemed fine when he approached the bar," Slagathor explained. "I know he did a bunch of shots, but he seemed to really hold his liquor well, unlike that meathead he came in with who was already barfing in the urinals and screaming something about leadership."
"He came up to me and ordered an appletini, and specified that he only wanted it if it was bright green. I served him the drink, and that's when things changed. Once that sweet nectar hit his lips, I swear I saw his eyes widen. He grabbed me, pulled me close to his face and whispered, 'it's clutchtime, baby!'"
Witnesses that were present claimed that shortly thereafter, Giroux jumped onto the bar, ripped his shirt to reveal a "#clutchtime" tattoo on his chest, and exclaimed, "I came here to snipe goals, sauce passes, and grab asses, and I'm all out of the first two."
Giroux then approached an Ottawa police officer later identified at Lieutenant James Ronald Dangle and proceeded to clutch his buttocks in an appletini induced rage.
Bar patron Steve Gugenheimer described the event as "pretty crazy. He kept giggling like a schoolgirl and screamed 'clutchtime' with every grab of the sweet sweet butt."
Other witnesses claimed that Giroux relied heavily on one hand to do the grabbing, ostensibly because the exploding golf club injury he sustained last summer prevented him from getting a nice hold on the officer's supple buns.
That bout of booty based buffoonery landed Giroux in the rear of Dangle's police cruiser.
When asked about the incident, Dangle seemed to harbor no ill-will toward the Flyers star. "Honestly it was kind of surreal," explained the officer. "I had to arrest him to keep up with Ottawa PD's quota for butt-related arrests, but I'm not the kind of guy who gets mad at this stuff -- usually I just turn the other cheek."
After gathering all information regarding the incident, I reached out to Flyers general manager Ron Hextall to ask how the team would respond to Giroux's derriere debauchery.
"I don't know, we probably won't do anything because it was so goddamn hilarious to read those headlines, LOL," Hextall explained in a text message. "I mean who hasn't grabbed a cop's butt after an appletini or two? You don't want to know how many butts we grabbed in the eighties, but it was like, a buttload, bro."
Rest assured, Hextall still plans to gather more information on the matter, claiming he wants to get a firm hold on the situation.
In the interim, Zac Rinaldo will serve as team captain, a move sparked by an online poll of Flyers Facebook fans on how Hextall should react.