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Hershey hero Giroux re-signs with Capitals

The Washington Capitals, parent club of the 2009 Calder Cup champion Hershey Bears, have signed left wing Alexandre Giroux to a contract for the upcoming 2009-10 season. Giroux returns to the organziation after leading the Bears to a championship with the most prolific goal-scoring season in AHL history.

Giroux, 28, returns to Chocolatetown after the most prolific goal-scoring season in American Hockey League history. Giroux set a Hershey franchise record in 2008-09 by scoring 60 goals in the regular season, the most ever by an AHL left wing. He followed that up with 15 more goals in 22 postseason games on the way to the club’s 10th Calder Cup championship. The 75 goals scored are the most ever scored by a single AHL player in one regular season and postseason combined.

Giroux also posted the longest goal-scoring streak in league history, scoring at least once in 15 consecutive games to break the previous record of 14 straight held by NHL legend Brett Hull.

“Alexandre Giroux was so important to our team’s success last year both on and off the ice,” said Bears president and general manager Doug Yingst. “For our organization, for our fans and for this region, we could not be happier that he chose to return next season.”

Overall, Giroux scored 60 goals in 69 games for Hershey and added 37 assists for a total of 97 points, winning the league’s scoring title. He also played in 12 games for the Washington Capitals in 2008-09, scoring one goal and assisting on another. His 15 goals scored during the 2009 postseason stands as another Bears record, and three of those 15 goals came on May 30 when he capped off a hat trick in Game 1 of the Calder Cup Finals in Winnipeg by scoring the game-winning marker in overtime.

Giroux’s final goal of the 2009 postseason came in the first period of Hershey’s Game 6 clincher at Manitoba when he scored on a breakaway against Moose goaltender Cory Schneider.

A native of Quebec City, Giroux brings 22 games of NHL experience back to the organization in the fall, with stints in Washington and with the New York Rangers. He is a former draft pick of the Ottawa Senators, making his professional debut with the Grand Rapids Griffins in 2001. Dating back to his Bears debut during the 2006-07 season, Giroux has scored 116 goals in a Hershey uniform in just 160 games played, ranking him 24th all-time in franchise history.

In 567 career AHL games with Hershey, Chicago, Hartford, Binghamton and Grand Rapids, Giroux has totaled 258 goals and 211 assists for 469 points. He begins the 2009-10 season in 33rd place all-time in goals. He also ranks among the AHL’s career postseason leaders with 36 goals (13th) and 73 points (17th) in Calder Cup Playoff action.