1,000 games played in the NHL is no easy feat to achieve. After all, think of all the steps it takes to get there. First, you have to either be drafted or signed on as an undrafted free agent to a team. Then you often have to cut your teeth in the AHL for a couple seasons. That first call-up to the NHL also doesn’t always guarantee you stay there. There are lots and ups and downs, and some people who make it may only play a handful of games in the big league.
To make it to 1,000 NHL games, a player has to put in determination and hard work. There has to be a deep inner drive to make the league, to keep on playing, to push through the setbacks such as recovering from injuries (because who doesn’t get injured in such a dangerous sport as hockey), and to succeed at the sport for long enough that a hockey career can be sustained for that long. After all, even if a player managed to play all 82 games every single season they’ve been in the league, it would still take over 12 seasons of games to reach the milestone. That’s a long time in the world of sports.
Claude Giroux is on the cusp of reaching those 1,000 NHL games played. Not only that, but Giroux is set to become only the second player to reach 1,000 games played solely with the Philadelphia Flyers. That’s huge, especially when we consider that just this season, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds both reached 1,000 games played — but their careers weren’t allowed to continue in Philadelphia. For as important as they were to the 2010s era of the Flyers, they still found themselves traded away. On top of that, no other athlete on any other Philadelphia team has been in the city as long as him.
Giroux is about to play 1,000 games in the league, but he has also deemed himself irreplaceable to this team and this city for this long. Even with the trade rumors swirling around, the cards are still fully in his hands. He controls his fate. He can still make the choice to say he’s not waiving his no-movement clause and could ride out the rest of this season remaining in Philadelphia. If he leaves, it’s solely his choice.
So what is it about Giroux that makes him different? What sets him apart to allow for him to achieve this milestone?
We could dig into the numbers and talk about what sets him apart from so many hundreds of players in the NHL and compare his stats to other legendary figures, or we could look to the stars.
I’m gonna look to the stars.
You see, astrology is all in good fun, but it can also be a pretty insightful lens to try to understand people with. In my role over at Davy Jones’ Locker Room, I’ve been using it as a way to interpret why certain Seattle Kraken players have the on-ice and off-ice tendencies they do. In honor of Giroux’s 1000th game, I want to carry that little series over here to Broad Street Hockey as my personal tribute to the captain that has inspired me to actively pursue my own goals for so many years.
The short answer to why Giroux has been able to produce such a long career? He’s a Capricorn.
Before we truly dig in, I know not everyone that is reading this has an understanding of astrology. Because of that, I’m going to link you to the first piece in my series where I created an astrology 101 section. Not every term I mention in that glossary is going to be applicable here, but it’s good to have a foundation of what I’m about to spew out before I begin.
We don’t have knowledge of Giroux’s exact birth time, so there are aspects to his chart here that we either don’t know (such as rising sign and house placements) or could be inaccurately represented here.
His moon sign in particular might be off. If he was born after about 6:40 pm, he would be a Scorpio moon instead. That’s a very different vibe for his emotional self! Thankfully, I really wasn’t planning on talking much about that placement anyways, but it’s just something to note.
The main crux of who Giroux is — or who any of us are, really — lies with his sun sign. For Giroux, that placement lies in Capricorn.
I feel like it’s easiest to understand the signs when you break them down into what the cross-section of their element and modality are. For Capricorn, you’re taking the earth element (grounded, stable) and combining it with the cardinal modality (go-getter, driven). This makes it a placement that is all about achieving its goals no matter the cost.
Capricorns are often stereotyped as being the sign that never takes a day off of work, and if they do, they’re just spending their vacation doing work anyways. It’s a little overdramatic as a representation, but there’s a reason Capricorn suns are painted that way. They really do possess an inner drive that never stops.
Claude Giroux is the epitome of that drive.
Let’s do a brief overview of all the ways Giroux’s inner drive has propelled him. He went undrafted in the 2004 OHL draft, but that didn’t stop him from earning a walk-on tryout with the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL and going on to earn 103 points in 69 games in his rookie season with them. It was enough to ensure Giroux would be drafted 22nd overall in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. (Bobby Clarke notably forgot Giroux’s name at the podium that day, but there’s no forgetting who he is now as Clarke will be there at the 1,000th game ceremony. Honestly, that’s exactly the kind of slight that a Capricorn will never forget.) To go from undrafted in the OHL to a first-round NHL pick requires single-minded determination and full belief in your own capabilities to keep pushing forward despite such a massive setback.
Giroux has come up clutch in key moments. He scored the shootout winner against the New York Rangers that would seal the Flyers’ playoff berth in 2010. In Game 6 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012, he had The Shift that rocked rival Sidney Crosby in the opening seconds of the game only to follow that up with scoring on that same first shift — the game that would ultimately win the series for Philadelphia. In 2018, Giroux notched his first regular season hat trick against the Rangers, once again coming up big to do what was needed to give his team a playoff ticket in the final game of the season.
It’s only a handful of what he’s done as a Flyer, but they’re key moments in his career, and ones that show his ability to dig in deep and do what is needed to win and succeed.
Now, there’s the argument some segments of Flyers fandom have that Giroux isn’t a clutch player at all. If he were, how come the team hasn’t had success with him as captain?
That argument frankly overlooks the fact that the Flyers organization has failed to create a team to bolster his talent. Even for a Capricorn, success can’t always be achieved single-handedly. Hockey is a team sport, after all, and it’s one where its star players are only on the ice for about a third of the game — if that. Giroux can only do so much.
But dammit if he doesn’t try.
The drive of a Capricorn sun is not to be taken lightly, and it’s exactly that drive that has helped Giroux overcome everything to play 1000 games — and to do so without missing too many games since he’s established himself in the league.
On top of that, he also possesses a Sagittarius Mars placement. Mars is all about action, and it’s a key placement to look at when talking about an athlete for that reason. Sagittarius is a fire sign (volatile, energetic) with a mutable modality (flexible, go-with-the-flow). It’s a sign all about taking action without much thought and jumping into situations all for the sake of the experience.
This is the part of Giroux that lets himself have fun along the way. He’s one of the most competitive players in the entire league, but he’s also a pro athlete saying how much he loves grilled cheese and is smiling away as he’s got half the team with him in the penalty box. He leads by example, but he also is noted for trying to lead with positivity. That’s a very Sagittarius response to leadership. They don’t want to be bogged down with what’s wrong, they want to uplift spirits to keep things moving along for the better.
Having that Sagittarius Mars is also beneficial to his continued success in the league. It allows him to be a little more adaptable. Moving from center to left wing for the benefit of the team? No problem.
However, the combination of the goal-getter Capricorn and the live-in-the-moment Sagittarius energies might be why that, to this moment, we still don’t know whether Giroux is actually going to waive his no-movement clause.
Capricorn is a sign prepossessed with success, yes, but here’s the thing: the definition of success differs for each person. Every player says the ultimate goal of being in the NHL is to win the Stanley Cup, but for someone who takes such pride in playing for the Flyers that he said on record that playing 1,000 games with just this one franchise is something he wanted, for Giroux, it could be seen as a failing to jump ship from the team he’s captained for so long to go chase quick glory with a contender. It could be framed as the easy way out. Capricorns want success, but it has to be earned.
On top of that, priorities change. Giroux’s old enough to have gone through his first Saturn return, which is a major astrological period for every person. In short, each planet has a return, which is when it is back to the same place in the sky it was on the day someone was born. The Saturn return, though, tends to be the most poignant of all returns because of the realm this planet deals in. Saturn rules routine, discipline, and even your purpose. Your first Saturn return, which takes place anywhere from 27 to 29 years old, is meant to be a time of transition and re-evaluation of your life’s plans.
Giroux may definitely want to chase down a Cup, but he is now also married and has two kids — all of that taking place after the onset of his Saturn return. There are now conflicting priorities in his life.
Of course, this would all be easier if Giroux wasn’t sitting at a career crossroads right now. If the Flyers were having more success, there wouldn’t be a need to internally debate whether the best thing for him is to be traded to a contender. He wouldn’t need to feel conflicted about uprooting family or abandoning a ship he has steered for so long, because all those goals would be in harmony. But now Giroux has to pick and choose which goals matter most.
That’s a frustrating position to put someone with his astrological placements in.
If this ends up being the end of his time in Philadelphia, at least it can be said that he took the helm of his own destiny and is pursuing his life the way he wants to — which is a very Capricorn thing to do.