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.
October 3, 1983|
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||198 lb (90 kg; 14 st 2 lb)|
Praised for his leadership, offensive, and defensive skills, Giordano is one of the NHL’s top defencemen and was named to play his first NHL All-Star Game in 2015. The Flames have also honoured him for his charitable contributions; he was named recipient of the J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award 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.
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. Giordano has an older sister, Michelle, and had another older sister, Mia, who was killed in a car accident when he was 14. 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.
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 minor ice hockey in North York and attended Chaminade College School. He played in the 1997 Quebec International Pee-Wee Hockey Tournament with a team from Richmond Hill.
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. 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. As a 19-year-old rookie, Giordano recorded 48 points for Owen Sound in 2002–03 and, as one of the top first-year players in the league, was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.
Despite 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. Giordano finished the 2003–04 season with 49 points.
After graduating from junior hockey, Giordano enrolled at York University and planned to study at its school of business when he received a late invitation from the Calgary Flames to attend their summer camp. 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." The Flames signed him to a contract following the camp.
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. 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. The Flames recalled him to Calgary at mid-season, and he made his NHL debut on January 30, 2006, against the St. Louis Blues. 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. 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. Giordano scored his first two NHL goals on October 14, 2006, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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. 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 do in the AHL and, lacking a guarantee that he would be in the NHL, sought a higher calibre league in which to play. He scored 4 goals and 13 points in 50 games with Dynamo, and played with the winning Canadian team at the 2007 Spengler Cup. The Canadian national team named him an alternate at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in case of injury to a roster player, 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.
Giordano appeared in 58 games for the Flames and scored 19 points before a shoulder injury ended his season. He required surgery to repair the damage suffered in a game against the Minnesota Wild. 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. 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. The Hockey News named him one of the most underrated players in the league, and he was invited to join Team Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship. Giordano led the team's defencemen with three goals in the tournament and added an assist in seven games.
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. He led the team's defencemen in scoring and set another career high with 43 points in 82 games. Giordano missed several weeks of the 2011–12 season after suffering a torn hamstring. The injury caused Giordano, who was named an alternate captain prior to the season's start, to miss 21 games. He finished with 27 points in 61 games, then scored 15 points in 47 games in the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season.
—Head Coach Bob Hartley describes Giordano's influence on his team as captain.
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. 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. 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.
A blocked shot injured Giordano early in the 2013–14 season as he suffered a broken ankle in late October. He missed 18 games due to the injury, during which the Flames gained only five wins. He still recorded career highs of 13 goals and 47 points. 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, and he received a first place vote (finishing 10th overall) in voting for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's top defenceman.
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. Predicted to finish near the bottom of the standings before the season, 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. 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. He was subsequently named as the Flames' representative at the 60th National Hockey League All-Star Game. Giordano played his 500th career game on February 2, 2015, in a victory over the Winnipeg Jets. He set a personal best by scoring his 48th point of the season in a 3–1 win over the New Jersey Devils on February 25, but also suffered an injury in the game. The Flames announced one week later that he required surgery for a completely torn biceps tendon; the estimated recovery time of four to five months meant that his season was over. In the summer before the 2015–16 season, the Flames signed Giordano to a six-year contract extension.
During the 2016–17 season Giordano was placed on the same line as Dougie Hamilton, causing greater defensive play in both players. His defensive play helped the Flames make the playoffs for the first time since 2015. He played in four playoff games, garnering one point, before the Flames were defeated by the Anaheim Ducks.
During the 2018–19 season, Giordano became the fifth defencemen in NHL history to record 60 points at the age of 35 or over. His 60th point came in a 2–1 win over the New Jersey Devils on February 27, 2019. Following the conclusion of the 2018–19 regular season, Giordano was named as a finalist for the James Norris Memorial Trophy.
Giordano and his wife, Lauren, 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. 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. Prior to the 2014–15 season, Giordano and his wife, Lauren, 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. At the end of the 2016–17 season, Giordano was awarded the ESPN Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award for his charity work with "Team Giordano Project".
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|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||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights||AHL||5||0||2||2||8||3||0||1||1||2|
Awards and honoursEdit
|OHL First All-Rookie Team||2002–03|||
|J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award
Cgy – Courtesy and respect
|Played in NHL All-Star Game||2015, 2016|||
|NHL Foundation Player Award||2015–16|||
|ESPY Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award||2017 ESPY Awards|||
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- "Canada wins Spengler Cup by defeating Russian team Ufa 2-1 in final". National Hockey League. 2007-12-31. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
- "Worlds mark young D-man's return home". Calgary Herald. 2008-05-01. Retrieved 2010-09-07.
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- Cruickshank, Scott (2010-10-30). "Flames can finally gush about Giordano". Calgary Herald. p. E5.
- Hanlon, Peter; Kelso, Sean; Ahrens, Janette; Buer, Greg, eds. (2013). 2013–14 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. p. 62.
- Down, John (2012-01-09). "Giordano feels 'almost, if not normal'". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Gilbertson, Wes (2014-10-07). "Follow the leader". Calgary Sun. p. S17.
- Cruichshank, Scott (2013-09-20). "Giordano new captain of Flames". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2013-09-21.
- Johnson, George (2013-09-12). "Why Mark Giordano should be the next Flames captain". Calgary Herald. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
- Spencer, Donna (2013-10-30). "Giordano sidelined by broken ankle". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, ON. p. S3.
- Odland, Kristen (2013-12-05). "Captain Giordano's return lifts Flames over Coyotes". Calgary Herald. p. B12.
- Francis, Eric (2014-01-07). "Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano told to stay ready". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
- Wharnsby, Tim (2014-06-24). "NHL Awards: How the voting went down". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
- Sportak, Randy (2014-12-01). "'O' from 'D' a very big key". Calgary Sun. p. S3.
- Sportak, Randy (2014). "Internal combustion". The Hockey News 2014–15 Yearbook: 62–65. ISSN 0018-3016.
- "Giordano, Tarasenko, Rinne named stars of November". National Hockey League. 2014-12-01. Retrieved 2014-12-01.
- Sportak, Randy (2015-01-12). "Star Power". Calgary Sun. p. S5.
- Gilbertson, Wes (2015-02-02). "Mark Giordano celebrates 500th career NHL game". Calgary Sun. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
- Cruickshank, Scott (2015-02-26). "Flames slash through Devils". Calgary Herald. p. B11.
- "Mark Giordano to have surgery, miss rest of Flames' season". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
- "Calgary Flames sign captain Mark Giordano to six-year contract extension worth $40.5M". The National Post. August 25, 2015. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- Yost, Travis (March 23, 2017). "Hamilton and Giordano are the best pairing in hockey". tsn.ca. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
- Odland, Kristen (April 26, 2017). "Flames blue-liner Hamilton credits the captain for his 2016-17 turnaround season". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- Gilbertson, Wes (April 9, 2017). "Flames captain Mark Giordano pumped for first playoff game since 2007". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- Gilbertson, Wes (April 20, 2017). "Flames fall short, swept out of playoffs by Ducks". Calgary Herald. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- Francis, Eric (February 27, 2019). "Giordano's game-winner secures Flames captain's place in history". sportsnet.ca. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
- "Norris Trophy finalists unveiled". NHL.com. NHL Enterprises, L.P. April 21, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
- Duhatschek, Eric (2014-10-08). "Canada's captains reveal truths of life and hockey". The Globe and Mail. Toronto, ON. Retrieved 2014-12-02.
- Storry, Lea (2011-01-26). "Flames defenceman teams up with Habitat for Humanity". Calgary Herald. p. B9.
- "Giordano named J.R. McCaig Award winner". Calgary Flames Hockey Club. 2012-03-28. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
- Hanlon, Peter; Kelso, Sean; Buer, Greger, eds. (2014). 2014–15 Calgary Flames Media Guide. Calgary Flames Hockey Club. p. 36.
- Dillman, Lisa (July 12, 2017). "Mark Giordano of Flames wins Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award". NHL.com. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
- Whyno, Stephen (2015-01-26). "It's goals galore as NHL's all-star shooters cut loose". Calgary Herald. Canadian Press. p. D1.
- "Mark Giordano wins Foundation Player Award". NHL.com. Retrieved 2018-02-09.
- Wells, Adam. "ESPY 2017 Winners: Awards Results, Recap, Top Moments and Twitter Reaction". Retrieved July 13, 2017.