Calgary Flames: Mark Giordano Does Not Get Enough Credit

CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 13: Mark Giordano
CALGARY, AB - OCTOBER 13: Mark Giordano /

Being the Captain and one of the most popular players on the Calgary Flames is no easy task. However, Mark Giordano represents that and has quietly had a remarkable start to the season.

Many Calgary Flames fans know the underdog story of beloved captain, Mark Giordano. Undrafted, hard-working, honest player, and a very stand-up guy who does plenty of great work for the communities within the city. The definition of a great captain (especially in a Canadian market). However, since his Norris-winning point producing pace in 2014-15, and 21 goal campaign in 2015-16, “Gio” has taken a back seat to guys like Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan being in the limelight. Some have even mentioned a regression within his game. With all the talk surrounding Gaudreau’s torrid point pace, let’s take a look at one of the team’s unsung heroes.

TAMPA, FL – APRIL 3: Mark Giordano
TAMPA, FL – APRIL 3: Mark Giordano /


Giordano’s defensive play is second to none. He is second in the NHL in blocked shots with 35 and has had 150+ in each of the past three seasons. If you watch the team regularly, you know every time he blocks a shot it either saves a goal or nips a great scoring chance in the bud. He finishes his checks, battles hard for the puck along the boards and provides great passes to his forwards on the breakout. What more can you ask from a defenseman?


Not only is Giordano an excellent defender, he is also pretty good at putting the puck in the other team’s net. He has a wicked shot and great offensive instincts that have gotten him 10+ goals and 40+ points in every season after 2012-13. Keep in mind, that was a lockout year so he probably would have hit those numbers that year too.

He’s also second on the team in CF% at even-strength (min. 50 TOI) at 56.37%. With 230 shot-attempts (second most on the team) and 178 shot-attempts against (Natural Stat Trick). This means that the team produces more shot attempts with Gio on the ice than they allow. The only player above him is his defensive partner Dougie Hamilton, who has credited a lot of his offensive success last season to Gio.

Calgary Flames
Calgary Flames /

Calgary Flames

Leading the Way

Being the captain in a big market like Calgary is a daunting task with plenty of responsibility and pressure. Giordano is the perfect leader because he goes out every night and works extremely hard at both ends of the ice. I am hard-pressed to think of a Flame who backchecks harder or battles for the puck harder than Giordano. He leads by example. He is also well-respected and well-liked by teammates. It is hard to find a Flames fan who dislikes him and there are 30 other teams in the NHL who would take him on their roster any day.

In my eyes, Giordano should be mentioned in the same breath as guys like Victor Hedman and Drew Doughty. He is a franchise defenseman and the media and fans around the league do not treat him like one. He may not score highlight-reel goals or put up 75 points a year, but he does so much more.

Swiss-Army Knife

#5 really does everything for the Flames. He’s on the powerplay, the penalty kill, 3 on 3, and the top defensive pairing. It is very rare to find a player that will produce offence and play his heart out defensively at the same time. All while having to wear the C and lead the entire team. The swiss-army knife of the Calgary Flames. He really is a diamond in the ruff, and he doesn’t get enough credit for it.

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Flames fans, let’s take a moment to realize how awesome our captain is.