Calgary Flames 5 days until the season starts: #5 Mark Giordano

ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 15: Mark Giordano
ANAHEIM, CA - APRIL 15: Mark Giordano /

Only five days until the regular season starts up again! With less than a week, let’s look at a Calgary Flames player with that number.

Since the start of August, we’re counting down the number of days left until the regular season starts up again! Every day until the start of the season, we’ll be talking about a Calgary Flames player whose number correlates with how many days there are left.

Yesterday, we talked about a player who became somewhat of an opposite of a fan-favourite here in Calgary. That was #6 Dennis Wideman.

Today, let’s look at a player who IS a fan-favourite! Well, when you’re the captain of a team, it’s hard not to be. With just five days left, let’s look at the current captain of your Calgary Flames! Let’s look at #5 Mark Giordano.

Related Story: 6 days until the season starts: #6 Dennis Wideman

Who is Mark Giordano?

Name: Mark Giordano

Birthplace: Toronto, ON, Canada

Position: D

Shoots: Left

Birthdate: 1983-10-03 (happy early birthday, Gio!)

Height: 6’0″ / 183 cm

Weight: 92 kg / 203 lbs

Drafted by: Undrafted

Stats with the Calgary Flames, regular season:

After going undrafted, Mark Giordano spent a few years with the Owen Sound Attack of the OHL. After a successful run with them, he decided he wanted to go to York University in 2004, but something came in the way of that. He got a late invitation to join the Calgary Flames camp during the summer. The Flames signed him to a contract.

Former Flames scout Tom Webster was the one who saw the potential in Gio.

Via Sportsnet:

"I talked to (Owen Sound coach) Mike Stothers, I talked to (GM) Mike Futa up there, and they were so complimentary. They couldn’t say enough good things about his character and his qualities. I recommended him to Darryl (then-Flames GM Sutter) as a player who we should sign. To recommend a player to Darryl Sutter was pretty plain and simple: He’d better be able to play in the NHL.He was willing to sign a three-way contract. Darryl’s belief was, if he’s good enough, he’ll make it in the long run. Mark was willing to sign it, because we took a chance on him. Now, you can see what’s happened."

Moving on, Gio played in the AHL for the entirety of the 2004-05 season. Then in the 2005-06 season, he drastically improved. He led the team in scoring with 16 goals and had 58 points in 73 games. Comparing to the year before of 16 points in 66 games.

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

However, in the middle of the season, the Flames did call him up. In seven NHL games that year, he had one assist. In 2006-07, he started the year off again down in the AHL. But that only lasted five games because the Flames called him up again and he played with them for the rest of the year. In 48 games, he had seven goals and 15 points.

The Flames went to the playoffs where Gio had his first ever pro playoff goal.

At the start of the following season, the Flames and Giordano couldn’t come to terms with a contract. Not for the money of the contract, but Gio wanted to be just an NHLer. He didn’t want to play in the AHL anymore. So Gio packed his bags and spent the year in Russia playing with the Dynamo Moskva. That year, in 2008, Gio was also invited to be an extra for Team Canada at the World Championships. However, he never got to play a game.

Later, the Flames and Giordano were finally able to come to terms with a contract. So they signed him to a three-year deal. That year, in 2008-09, Gio played in 58 games, but his season was cut short because of a shoulder injury. He also missed the playoffs because of the injury.

The following year was one of the best for Giordano thus far at the NHL level. With 11 goals and 30 points in 82 games, this was now a career high. And he was only going to get better. He also had an impressive +17. Giordano again was invited to play for Team Canada at the World Championship where he led the team in goals with three. Canada only placed seventh though, so no medal for him.

Before becoming a free agent in 2011, Giordano signed a five-year contract extension. That year, he set another career high in points with 43 in 82 games. After the 2010-11 season, Giordano was named an alternate captain for the Flames.

But his season was cut short again in 2011-12 because of another injury. After that, Giordano continues to improve. In 2013, after Jarome Iginla, who served as a captain for ten years was traded in the 2012-13 season, the Flames were left with no captain.

Before the 2013-14 season, Mark Giordano was named the 19th captain in Calgary Flames history. That year, again, he set a career high in goals with 14, despite having his season cut slightly short again.

The following year, the Flames made the playoffs for the first time in six years. Giordano was having an excellent year alongside partner T.J. Brodie and they were getting looked at by every team. They were seen as one the top pairs in the NHL. Until Giordano, unfortunately, got injured (again). He missed the remained of the season and missed the playoffs. He set a career high in points, despite only playing 61 games, with 48. Until his injury, he was seen as a strong contender for the Norris Trophy. Well, even with the injury, he finished in sixth place for Norris voting. That’s quite impressive for a player who didn’t even play a full season.

The 2015-16 season came and Giordano set some career highs while breaking the 20-goal mark and the 50-goal mark. He had 21 goals and 56 points in 82 games. This past season, while he didn’t have the same career year like last year, he had an impressive +22. He was also recently ranked as the 18th best defenceman by Earlier this past season, Sportsnet ranked Mark Giordano and defensive partner Dougie Hamilton as the best defensive duo out of all the Canadian teams. TSN’s Travis Yost put them as the best in the entire league.

Related Story: Giordano ranked as the 18th best defenceman

Dougie Hamilton also credits a lot of his turnaround season to Gio, mentioning how Gio’s been a mentor.

This past season, something happened that made my heart hurt. Giordano and former Flames captain, Jarome Iginla, almost got into a fight. People in the stands were booing because the refs broke it up right away and people on Twitter were mad too. They wanted to see a fight! But thanks to the refs for breaking it up, I don’t think my heart could have handled it.

At least Gio was able to make jokes about it after the matter, though.

This off-season was also more successful for Giordano than just being named as the 18th best defenceman. He won an extremely honourable ESPN award – the Muhammad Ali Award. There all some of the best athletes in the world at this event, nominated for awards, and Calgary Flames captain was among them.

Gio and his wife, Lauren, were recognized for the immense amount of work they do within the community.


"It was really special, right from the start – watching the video of Muhammad Ali and then being able to win the award at the end of the night, I’m truly honoured,.It’s a pretty emotional night, pretty surreal for me right now."

Next: Mark Giordano wins Muhammad Ali Award

Giordano still has quite a few years left in him. And if all goes according to plan this upcoming season, it may be one of the longest seasons in his career.