Edmonton Oilers Sign Alexandre Giroux: Will He Finally Live Up To Potential?

July 5th, 2010 No Comments

The Edmonton Oilers announced Saturday that they have signed perennial AHL star Alexandre Giroux to a one-year contract worth a reported $500,000.

Giroux, who stands 6’3” and weighs in at 205 pounds, was originally taken in the seventh round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft (213th overall). He has spent most of his professional hockey career in the American Hockey League where he has amassed over 300 goals over 636 career AHL games played.

Giroux has spent the past three seasons with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, where he has posted back-to-back 50 goal plus seasons, including a career best 60 goal performance in 2008-09.

Clearly, Giroux has the talent to play at the AHL level, but he has never been able to transform his AHL skills into the NHL, where he has amassed a paltry four goals, nine points in 34 career NHL games playing with the New York Rangers (2005-06) and the Washington Capitals (2006-07, 2008-09, 2009-10).

At 29 years of age, one has to think that Giroux’s latest contract with the Oilers may be the final one of his career unless he can prove he can play at the NHL level.

Coming off back-to-back AHL Championships with the Hersey Bears, Giroux will bring a winning attitude to the Oilers, a club that has struggled to find it’s way at the NHL level.

He also took home the Les Cunningham Award as the AHL’s MVP.

The Oilers represent a solid opportunity for Giroux. This is a young club, in step one of a rebuilding process that should take another 2-3 seasons. Giroux has the opportunity to get second line minutes in Edmonton; that is as long as he lives up to his enormous potential.

In order for Gioux to crack one of the Oilers first three lines he will have to outplay the likes of Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi-Svensson; all of whom will be vying for an NHL job in training camp.

The knock on Giroux is that his skating is not up to par at the NHL level and that, while dominant in the AHL, once the games accelerates to the NHL level Giroux’s decision making becomes questionable.

Dominating the AHL where few players are capable of playing in the NHL is one thing, competing in the NHL is quite another, it’s just that simple.

Only time will tell if Giroux can be a consistent contributor for the Oilers. The Oilers need him to step up and, for the sake of his hockey career; nobody wants it more than Giroux.

For more NHL news and notes check out my website at www.theslapshot.com

Until next time,

Peace!

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