Flashback: Bob Clarke, then the Flyers’ general manager, goes to the podium and forgets the name of the player the franchise is going to select in the 2006 NHL draft: a skinny, shifty kid who goes by Claude Giroux.

“When I did it, my mind just went blank. I was embarrassed, obviously,” Clarke said Friday from his home in Florida. “When G came up to the stage, he said, ‘I know, it’s a hard name to remember.’ And he laughed. He made it easy for me.”

Flash forward: On Tuesday in New Jersey, Giroux, now 33, will pass Clarke as the longest-tenured captain in franchise history as he plays in his 611th game in that role.

Two great players. Two competitors who define relentless. Two leaders with similar styles.

Like Clarke, Giroux only addresses his teammates when entirely necessary. Like Clarke, Giroux, who was named the Flyers’ 19th captain in 2013, prefers to let his play on the ice do the talking.

Do as I do, not as I say. That’s the mantra of both men.

“I wasn’t vocal at all as the captain,” Clarke said. “I mean, I knew the role of what the captain was supposed to do and stuff, but I wasn’t verbal at all. I preferred to let my play do it.”

His style worked. Clarke won the Hart Trophy as the league MVP three times, still holds numerous franchise records, including points, assists, and games played, and, with goaltender Bernie Parent, led the Flyers to consecutive Stanley Cup championships in 1974 and 1975. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1987.

Best ever

Not only was Clarke the best captain to ever play for the Flyers, but he was arguably the best in NHL history, an iconic player who overcame diabetes and rose to amazing heights, a player whose driven example made his teammates play to their absolute maximum.

Clarke, now 71, said he “never even thought about” being a captain before he was named in 1972, probably because he was the team’s best player.

“I enjoyed working with the team,” he said. “I enjoyed being a part of the team. Being a teammate.”

Clarke, currently a senior adviser with the Flyers and a man who played a role in bringing general manager Chuck Fletcher to Philadelphia, says Giroux has had to endure lots of front-office/coaching changes over the years.

“He’s been a great captain for the Flyers, and he’s gone through some turmoil,” Clarke said.

“I had my captaincy through Fred Shero and Keith Allen,” said Clarke, referring to his coach and general manager. “That’s when I was at my best, when we had good coaching and good leadership from above. I don’t think I was nearly as good a captain when Bob McCammon (a former coach and GM) took over because there was turmoil. No player can solve turmoil that’s created by coaches and managers.

‘Hectic changes’

Clarke said Giroux has gone through “some pretty hectic changes. You can’t keep changing coaches and managers and expect stability and expect any player to know exactly what’s required of him. And still has remained a top player. I think Giroux really came through this really good. He’s been outstanding.”

Giroux, who has had six coaches and three general managers in his 12-plus seasons with the Flyers, has made six All-Star teams and has more points than all but two NHL players (Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby) since 2011-12. Since that season, the center/winger leads the NHL in assists.

“I think he’s been one of the better captains in Flyers history,” Clarke said. “Davey Poulin’s in that class. I think he’s a special player on our team and he has been for quite a while.”

Giroux has his detractors, those who say a leader is measured only by the amount of Stanley Cups his teams have won. That argument rings somewhat hollow because the Flyers, until Carter Hart arrived, didn’t have a potential top-five goalie during Giroux’s Cup-less tenure. It also rings hollow because such stars as John Tavares, Shea Weber, Joe Thornton, Gilbert Perreault, Marcel Dionne, Eric Lindros, Dale Hawerchuk, Pat LaFontaine, Brad Park, Darryl Sittler, Adam Oates, Cam Neely, and Jean Ratelle never won Cups, either, primarily because the players surrounding them weren’t good enough. Or perhaps they were on teams that fell just short of a Cup or ran into bad luck.

The other knock on Giroux has been his poor playoff performances -- two goals in his last 28 games -- spread over last three seasons. That argument carries some weight, though Giroux was dominant in the playoffs earlier in his career.

“I’ve only been here a year-plus with Claude, and there’s no doubt there’s a passion there, there’s a will, there’s a great role model and example for young players,” coach Alain Vigneault said Friday afternoon from Boston, where the Flyers were preparing to face the Bruins on Saturday. “But he wants to win. He feels obviously that his record, his legacy right now, is not good enough.”

Added Vigneault: “Maybe he has not had the support in his past years that enabled him to be on a winner, but I believe we are a better team at this point. He needs to obviously play the best hockey of his life to permit us to achieve our goal, and in my mind, he has the right attitude, he’s got the right mindset, and he will do everything he can to help us win. He’s been a very good captain for me and a very good captain for this group and this organization.”

Will “very good” turn into “great”? The rest of his career playoff performances, and his team’s, will probably determine that.