Turns out that Claude Giroux was just looking for a few laughs when he decided to get handsy with the local constabulary on Monday night.
Giroux was celebrating Canada Day in Ottawa when he was arrested outside a bar, reportedly for repeatedly groping a male police officer's buttocks. His wandering hands were cuffed and he was hauled off to cool his heels in jail. Following an investigation—you can only imagine the hours the local Lennie Briscoe poured into that one—it was determined that criminal charges would not be filed.
Grateful to have avoided hard time, Giroux offered penance for his crimes on Thursday night.
“I regret my actions on Canada Day and sincerely apologize to my fans, teammates and the Philadelphia Flyers organization for my misguided attempt at humor," he said in a statement. "I have the utmost respect for law enforcement and apologize to the Ottawa Police Department and specifically the individual officer. I will be making no further public comment on this matter. I will not be distracted from my ongoing preparation for the upcoming season. I remain 100 percent committed and focused on working with my team to return the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia.”
So it was all for grins, eh? Not quite sure he stuck the landing with that one.
It doesn't help matters that this is the second consecutive summer of controversy for Giroux. The Hart Trophy finalist injured his hand in what was reported to be "a golfing accident" last August, forcing him to miss Canada's Olympic orientation camp and leading to a rocky start to his season.
Bottom line is this is a bad look for the Flyers organization and its captain who, at 26, is old enough to know when to say when. There's nothing wrong with having a few pops with the boys, but when it gets to the point that you think it's a good idea to mess with a cop, there might be a problem. Here's hoping the Flyers are serious about sitting Giroux down and dealing with this internally.