When Jarome Iginla was traded, there were only a couple names bantered about in the conversation regarding who would take his place as the next captain of the Calgary Flames.
Mark Giordano was one of them.
There have long been rumblings that the 29-year-old defenceman had what it took to wear the "C" in the event that Iginla moved on, and clearly the new-ish iteration of Flames management feels the same.
Giordano signed a 5-year, $20.1M contract extension with an NMC through 2013-14 in one of Darryl Sutter's final acts as Flames general manager.
Giordano's role on the team and his defensive responsibility have increased since then, with the trades of Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr and Jay Bouwmeester, and while he has undoubtably grown as a player in that time despite some bumps and bruises along the way, this season will answer the question of whether or not he is/can be a top-two defenceman, because he'll more than likely have to be one.
Giordano was signed by the Flames as a free agent in 2004 and played 73 games with their farm team in Omaha in 2005-06, the year after the lockout. He played seven games with the Flames that year before becoming an NHL regular the next season, appearing in 48 games for the Flames.
Gio scored 15 points in those 48 games with the Flames that season, but could not come to terms on a new contact with GM Sutter, and played out the 2007-08 season with the KHL's Dynamo Moscow. When Giordano returned to North America after winning the Spengler Cup with Team Canada and scoring 13 points in 50 games with Dynamo, he signed a three-year deal worth $2,675 with the Flames, who still held his rights--and fans breathed a sigh of relief that a talented young defenceman had not been lost for nothing.
Since returning to the Flames in 2008-09, Giordano has scored 34 goals and 134 points on Calgary's blueline.