Mark Giordano made his debut for the Calgary Flames during the 2005/06 National Hockey League season, he was undrafted after being overlooked in the 2004 Entry Draft.
After signing for Calgary in 2004 they would assign Giordano to the Lowell Lock Monsters – now Albany Devils – of the American Hockey League where he could hone his skills and the Flames could monitor his progress. Fast forward 10 years and Giordano is not only an integral part of the Calgary defensive system, he is a club captain and one of the best defenders in the NHL.
September 20, 2013, would mark the occasion where a torch was passed, Jarome Iginla had been traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins months earlier and a rebuild had begun.
With new direction and player personnel set to grace the Saddledome, a new leader was needed to take the Calgary Flames hockey club into a new chapter on the ice.
When Mark Giordano was selected as captain many fans throughout the C of Red gave the nod of approval, Giordano had been an ever improving defender and when given a lucky break of full health would put up terrific numbers in the NHL – 2010/11 his most notable when he finished with 43 points – and that would continue to trend upwards when he was given the opportunity to don an extra C on the front of his jersey.
Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs would see Giordano assist on a Matt Stajan goal, it would also see Giordano pick up point 17 from the past 17 games moving him to 45 points for the season through 58 games – his best season tally yet.
Giordano sits first overall among defenders for points per game in the NHL, his outstanding season would also see many calling for a spot at the 2014 Sochi Olympics for Team Canada, not bad for an undrafted prospect 10 years earlier.
While Giordano’s ability to hit the scoresheet is an asset all NHL clubs would love to have, his leadership and work ethic holds much greater value.
Paired with young rising star T.J. Brodie, Giordano has been able to nurture and teach the Flames most prized young defender everything there is know about succeeding in the NHL and create a valuable partnership which will hold the Flames in terrific shape across the next few seasons.
Replacing Jarome Iginla as the face of a franchise and as a player, was never going to be an easy task, if not an impossible one. As a captain the selection of Mark Giordano couldn’t have been more perfect, a respected hockey player and person, a leader on the ice and experienced member of the Calgary Flames roster.
It’s where Giordano’s value starts to rise to the surface, as a captain Giordano has lead for the front admirable, while at the same time contributing to the character that is been built throughout the entire squad.
With the Flames putting importance on stock piling young talent throughout the organisation to once again return to the post season, Giordano’s invitation 10 years to Calgary Flames summer camp could be the most important decision of all.