Claude Giroux

Giroux leaves Germany, returns to North America after neck injury


What began as a “little neck injury” has turned into cause for concern.

That’s the word out of Philadelphia on Tuesday, as star Flyers forward Claude Giroux prepared to leave German club Eisbaeren Berlin and return to North America to have his neck injury examined.

News of Giroux’s departure was first reported by Oliver Koch of, later confirmed via a tweet from the Eisbaren organization.

Giroux suffered the injury during a league game last Friday after being checked in the head by a Krefeld Pinguine player, but initially brushed it off as a minor issue.

“Just a little neck injury,” Giroux told the Philadelphia Daily News. “[Don’t] read too much into it.”

Now, it appears the ailment was more serious than first thought.

According to a rough translation of Koch’s report, Giroux will head to Atlanta to see a “specialist” for further testing. The report also claims Giroux underwent standard head- and neck-injury tests in Berlin following Friday’s game, but was complaining of “feeling unwell” — thus, the move to Atlanta.

It’s worth noting that concussion specialist Ted Carrick, who famously worked with Sidney Crosby, has a clinic at Life University in Atlanta.

News of Giroux’s injury has to be concerning for the Flyers organization. He’s been sidelined by concussions twice in his career — he missed five games during the 2008-09 season and another four during the 2010-11 campaign.

Update: Sounds like Giroux is in Atlanta to see Carrick, according to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News

Update 2: This time, from ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun…

Diaz could leave Rangers for Europe

Raphael Diaz, Mike Sislo
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Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?

We’ll know in a month.

Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:

The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.

The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.

If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.

Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”

And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.

While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.

Canucks say Markstrom (hamstring) out another week — could it be longer?

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Bit of uncertainty out of Vancouver regarding the health of backup goalie Jacob Markstrom.

Markstrom, a late drop from the Canucks’ 5-1 opening-night win over Calgary, has suffered a hamstring injury that will keep him sidelined for another week, the club announced on Thursday.

With Markstrom out, backup duties will stay with AHL call-up Richard Bachman, who served as Ryan Miller‘s No. 2 on Wednesday.

Now, the focus turns to how long Bachman keeps those duties.

Per a Sportsnet report, Markstrom could miss up to three weeks of action with his injury. If that’s the case, Bachman will almost certainly be called into action; the Canucks will play eight games in 17 nights starting with Saturday’s home-opener against the Flames, which includes back-to-backs in Los Angeles and Anaheim on Oct. 12 and 13.

It would be asking a lot of the No. 1, 35-year-old Ryan Miller, to shoulder that entire load.

Bachman does have some NHL experience, with nearly 50 games to his credit. That includes a 3-2-0 record with the Oilers last year, in which he posted a 2.84 GAA and .911 save percentage.