Mark Giordano

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Mark Giordano
Giordano observes his teammates (off-camera) during a pre-game warm up.
Born (1983-10-03) October 3, 1983 (age 31)
Toronto, ON, CAN
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 203 lb (92 kg; 14 st 7 lb)
Position Defence
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Calgary Flames
Dynamo Moscow
National team  Canada
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2004–present

Mark Giordano (born October 3, 1983) is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who currently serves as captain of the Calgary Flames of the National Hockey League (NHL). An undrafted player, Giordano signed with the Flames as a free agent in 2004 after playing two seasons of major junior hockey with Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Since making his debut in 2006, Giordano has played his entire NHL career with the Flames but left the team for one season, 2007–08, to play for Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Super League.

Praised for his leadership and offensive skills, Giordano is the Flames' top defenceman. The team has also honoured him for his charitable contributions; he was named recipient of the J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award by the Flames in 2012. Internationally, Giordano played with Team Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship and was a member of the 2007 Spengler Cup winning team.

Early life[edit]

Mark Giordano was born in Toronto, Ontario on October 3, 1983. His father, Paul, is a real estate agent and his mother, Anna, a hairdresser.[1] Giordano has an older sister, Michelle, and had another older sister, Mia, who was killed in a car accident when he was 14.[2] He taps his helmet twice with his stick at the end of the national anthems before each game as a quiet tribute to his sister, whose death had a lasting impact on Giordano and his family and brought them closer together.[1]

As a youth, Giordano played both hockey and baseball, but focused on hockey as the demands of both sports on his time increased. Giordano played his minor hockey in North York and attended Chaminade College School.[3]

Playing career[edit]

Junior[edit]

Giordano played one season of Junior A hockey with the Brampton Capitals of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2001–02 where he scored 24 goals in the playoffs to help lead the Capitals to the Ontario provincial championship.[4] He then moved up to major junior, playing two seasons with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He was the top scoring defenceman on the team for both years.[5] As a 19-year-old rookie, Giordano recorded 48 points for Owen Sound in 2002–03 and was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.[6]

In spite of his offensive success in junior, Giordano went unselected at the NHL Entry Draft. He accepted an invitation to attend the Phoenix Coyotes training camp where, according to then-Owen Sound General Manager Mike Futa, Giordano impressed team officials but believed that he would be best served by playing a second season in the OHL.[6] Giordano finished the 2003–04 season with 49 points.[7]

After graduating from junior hockey, Giordano enrolled in York University's school of business when he received a late invitation from the Calgary Flames to attend their summer camp.[1] Former Flames coach Jim Playfair recalled that Giordano stood out among the group of invitees and said that his skill and skating ability set him apart: "Darryl (Sutter) met with three or four of those kids and gave them all the same contracts: Three years in the American League, and if it works out for you, you've got a career. Gio took it and ran with it."[8] The Flames signed him to a contract following the camp.[9]

Professional[edit]

The Flames assigned Giordano to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Lowell Lock Monsters, for the 2004–05 season where he scored 6 goals and added 10 assists in 66 games.[10] He remained in the AHL for much of the 2005–06 season, transferring to Calgary's new affiliate, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights. Giordano led the Knights in scoring, recording 16 goals and 58 points in 73 games. Additionally, he was second among defencemen in the AHL in goal scoring and fourth in points.[5] The Flames recalled him to Calgary at mid-season, and he made his NHL debut on January 30, 2006, against the St. Louis Blues.[5] Giordano appeared in seven games with the Flames, and recorded his first NHL point with an assist on April 8, 2006, against the Vancouver Canucks.[11] In the 2006–07 season, Giordano played only five games in Omaha as he spent the majority of the campaign in Calgary. In 48 games with the Flames, he recorded 7 goals and 15 points.[9] Giordano scored his first two NHL goals on October 14, 2006, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.[5]

Giordano skates toward the camera as he observes the play off to his left.
Giordano during a 2013 game against Pittsburgh

Unable to come to terms on a new contract with the Flames prior to the 2007–08 season, Giordano left the NHL to sign with HC Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Super League.[12] According to Playfair, Giordano did not sign in Russia over money. Instead, he left due to the fact that he felt he had proven what he could in the AHL and, lacking a guarantee that he would be in the NHL, sought a higher calibre league in which to play.[8] He scored 4 goals and 13 points in 50 games with Dynamo,[5] and played with the winning Canadian team at the 2007 Spengler Cup.[13] The Canadian national team named him an alternate at the 2008 IIHF World Championship,[14] however he never appeared in a game. Though he feared his decision to leave for Russia would damage his relationship with the Flames, Giordano and the team came to terms on a three-year contract that brought him back to Calgary for the 2008–09 NHL season.[15]

Giordano appeared in 58 games for the Flames and scored 19 points before a shoulder injury ended his season.[5] He required surgery to repair the damage suffered in a game against the Minnesota Wild.[16] He recovered in time to begin the 2009–10 season, but several new additions to Calgary's defensive corps left him concerned about his position with the team.[17] Instead, he solidified his place on the roster with a career year; Giordano set personal highs in goals (11), points (30) and was +17 for the Flames.[10] The Hockey News named him one of the most underrated players in the league,[18] and he was invited to join Team Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship.[19] Giordano led the team's defencemen with three goals in the tournament and added an assist in seven games.[11]

Despite having the option to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2010–11 season, Giordano opted to remain in Calgary and signed a five-year, $20 million contract extension with the Flames on October 29, 2010.[20] He led the team's defencemen in scoring and set another career high with 43 points in 82 games.[21] Giordano missed several weeks of the 2011–12 season after suffering a torn hamstring.[22] The injury caused Giordano, who was named an alternate captain prior to the season's start, to miss 21 games.[21] He finished with 27 points in 61 games, then scored 15 points in 47 games in the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season.[7]

"You can say everything you want, but if you're not practicing what you preach, then I'm not sure your guys are going to buy in as much as you want them to. But (Giordano) works a lot harder than he preaches. He's vocal and says all the right things in the room, but where he really shows he's a good leader on the ice, which is what guys need."

—Head Coach Bob Hartley describes Giordano's influence on his team as captain.[23]

Giordano was named the 19th captain in Flames history on September 20, 2013, as he succeeded Jarome Iginla, who was traded late in the 2012–13 season.[24] Giordano was praised by his teammates and coaches staff for both his long tenure with the franchise and for his playing style: Giordano played in all situations for the Flames, was one of the hardest workers on the team and was willing to sacrifice himself to block a shot or defend his teammates.[25] Head coach Bob Hartley praised Giordano's influence on his teammates as the rebuilding Flames team established an identity as a squad which was noted across the league for its work ethic.[23]

A blocked shot felled Giordano early in the 2013–14 as he suffered a broken ankle in late October.[26] He missed 18 games due to the injury, during which the Flames gained only five wins.[27] He still recorded career highs of 13 goals and 47 assists,[7] Though he was not named to the team, Giordano's growing reputation placed him on Team Canada's short list for the 2014 Winter Olympics,[28] and he received a first place vote (finishing 10th overall) in voting for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's top defenceman.[29]

A surge in offensive production from Giordano and fellow defencemen T. J. Brodie and Dennis Wideman resulted in the Flames being one of the NHL's biggest surprises early in the 2014–15 season.[30] Predicted to finish near the bottom of the standings before the season,[31] the Flames instead began December with one of the best records in the league, in large part due to the play of Giordano, who led all NHL defencemen with 25 points, four better than Brodie.[30] His plus-minus of +14 ranked him second in the league. The NHL recognized Giordano's early season play by naming him its First Star of the month of November.[32]

Personal life[edit]

Giordano and his wife Lauren have a son, Jack, and often return to Toronto in the off-seasons.[33] The couple are spokespeople for Habitat for Humanity; They launched a program called "5-for-5" in January 2011 that aimed to build five homes for the organization, one in the Calgary area and four in Africa and Asia. Giordano donated $25,000 of the $130,000 cost himself, and his contribution was matched by the Flames charitable foundation.[34] The team honoured him for his work with Habitat for Humanity and the Flames Foundation for Life by naming him the recipient of the J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award in 2012.[35] Prior to the 2014–15 season, Giordano and his wife launched another initiative, known as the "Team Giordano Project", where they and the Flames' charitable arm donated funding to three Calgary schools to supply new gym equipment and computers, as well as to visit the schools and offer mentorship to the students.[36]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2001–02 Brampton Capitals OPJHL 48 11 26 37 59
2002–03 Owen Sound Attack OHL 68 18 30 48 109 4 1 3 4 2
2003–04 Owen Sound Attack OHL 65 14 35 49 72 7 1 3 4 5
2004–05 Lowell Lock Monsters AHL 66 6 10 16 85 11 0 1 1 41
2005–06 Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights AHL 73 16 42 58 141
2005–06 Calgary Flames NHL 7 0 1 1 8
2006–07 Calgary Flames NHL 48 7 8 15 36 4 1 0 1 0
2006–07 Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights AHL 5 0 2 2 8 3 0 1 1 2
2007–08 Dynamo Moscow RSL 50 4 9 13 89
2008–09 Calgary Flames NHL 58 2 17 19 59
2009–10 Calgary Flames NHL 81 11 19 30 81
2010–11 Calgary Flames NHL 82 8 35 43 67
2011–12 Calgary Flames NHL 61 9 18 27 75
2012–13 Calgary Flames NHL 47 4 11 15 40
2013–14 Calgary Flames NHL 64 14 33 47 63
NHL totals 449 55 142 197 429 4 1 0 1 0

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result   GP G A Pts PIM
2010 Canada WC 7th 7 3 1 4 10
Senior totals 7 3 1 4 10

Awards and honours[edit]

Career
Award Year Ref.
OHL First All-Rookie Team 2002–03 [6]
J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award
Cgy – Courtesy and respect
2011–12 [35]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Hall, Vicki (2011-01-17). "Sister's tragic death helps Flames defenceman Mark Giordano keep hockey in perspective". Calgary Herald. Archived from the original on 2011-01-19. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  2. ^ Macfarlane, Steve (2011-01-17). "Tragedy helped mold Flames' Giordano". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  3. ^ Amato, Adam (June 2004). "Former Gryphon Giordano flying high". Gryphon Gazette (Chaminade College School). Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  4. ^ Robson, Dan (2011-01-15). "Dan Robson recalls playing with Mark Giordano". Brampton Guardian. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Hanlon, Peter; Kelso, Sean (2009). 2009–10 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. p. 49. 
  6. ^ a b c Walker, Bill (2003-09-11). "Giordano back for Attack". Owen Sound Sun Times. p. B4. 
  7. ^ a b c "Mark Giordano player card". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  8. ^ a b Johnson, George (2014-11-14). "Giordano's rise no surprise". Calgary Herald. p. B5. 
  9. ^ a b Kimberley, Todd (2010-01-01). "Giordano a gem on the blueline". Calgary Flames Hockey Club. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  10. ^ a b "Mark Giordano profile". Hockey Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  11. ^ a b Hanlon, Peter; Kelso, Sean; Buer, Greger, eds. (2014). 2014–15 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. pp. 60–62. 
  12. ^ Sportak, Randy (2008-04-30). "Gordano Russian to rekindle career". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  13. ^ "Canada wins Spengler Cup by defeating Russian team Ufa 2-1 in final". National Hockey League. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  14. ^ "Worlds mark young D-man's return home". Calgary Herald. 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  15. ^ "Giordano's return official". Calgary Herald. 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  16. ^ "Injured Flames return home". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  17. ^ MacFarlane, Steve (2009-09-15). "Defender a Marked man with additions to blue-line". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  18. ^ Sportak, Randy (2010-01-28). "Gio's game scores extra ink". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  19. ^ MacFarlane, Steve (2010-04-14). "Giordano off to Worlds". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2010-09-07. 
  20. ^ Cruickshank, Scott (2010-10-30). "Flames can finally gush about Giordano". Calgary Herald. p. E5. 
  21. ^ a b Hanlon, Peter; Kelso, Sean; Ahrens, Janette; Buer, Greg, eds. (2013). 2013–14 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. p. 62. 
  22. ^ Down, John (2012-01-09). "Giordano feels 'almost, if not normal'". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  23. ^ a b Gilbertson, Wes (2014-10-07). "Follow the leader". Calgary Sun. p. S17. 
  24. ^ Cruichshank, Scott (2013-09-20). "Giordano new captain of Flames". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2013-09-21. 
  25. ^ Johnson, George (2013-09-12). "Why Mark Giordano should be the next Flames captain". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  26. ^ Spencer, Donna (2013-10-30). "Giordano sidelined by broken ankle". The Globe and Mail (Toronto, ON). p. S3. 
  27. ^ Odland, Kristen (2013-12-05). "Captain Giordano's return lifts Flames over Coyotes". Calgary Herald. p. B12. 
  28. ^ Francis, Eric (2014-01-07). "Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano told to stay ready". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  29. ^ Wharnsby, Tim (2014-06-24). "NHL Awards: How the voting went down". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  30. ^ a b Sportak, Randy (2014-12-01). "'O' from 'D' a very big key". Calgary Sun. p. S3. 
  31. ^ Sportak, Randy (2014). "Internal combustion". The Hockey News 2014–15 Yearbook: 62–65. ISSN 0018-3016. 
  32. ^ "Giordano, Tarasenko, Rinne named stars of November". National Hockey League. 2014-12-01. Retrieved 2014-12-01. 
  33. ^ Duhatschek, Eric (2014-10-08). "Canada's captains reveal truths of life and hockey". The Globe and Mail (Toronto, ON). Retrieved 2014-12-02. 
  34. ^ Storry, Lea (2011-01-26). "Flames defenceman teams up with Habitat for Humanity". Calgary Herald. p. B9. 
  35. ^ a b "Giordano named J.R. McCaig Award winner". Calgary Flames Hockey Club. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  36. ^ Hanlon, Peter; Kelso, Sean; Buer, Greger, eds. (2014). 2014–15 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. p. 36. 

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jarome Iginla
Calgary Flames captain
2013–present
Incumbent