Earlier this week, ESPN's Craig Custance asked a bunch of NHL players a simple question: if you were building an NHL team, which player would you pick to build that team around?
Hockey players are generally pretty humble people. They're not going to call themselves great. Wayne Gretzky wouldn't even do that. But there's a certain confidence that goes with being the only NHL player polled to say he'd build a team around himself. I kind of love that the only player to do so in ESPN's poll was Claude Giroux.
Giroux received one first-place vote -- from Claude Giroux. "I have to believe in myself, no?" Giroux asked. He made a good case for himself this past season, when he strapped the Flyers on his back and took them to the playoffs. In the past three seasons, Giroux has 227 points in 207 games. In 2013-14, on a team that wasn't the best possession team around, he finished with a Corsi for percentage of 53.5 percent, the highest of his career. As he matures, he continues to round out his game.
Some will call it cockiness. I'll call it confidence. I love it.
For the record, Giroux had Sidney Crosby second and Jonathan Toews third. Of the 14 players polled, nobody else had Giroux in their top three. Whatever guys.