FanPost

Mark Giordano's Long Road to Success

Throughout this long, roller coaster season the Calgary Flames are going through, there have been some rare flashes of brilliance. Whether it be the young rookie phenom Sean Monahan or Swiss goaltender Reto Berra. But the one man that distinguishes himself from the rest of the pack is undoubtedly, team captain, Mark Giordano.

It was evident that Mark Giordano is one of the most influential players to wear the flaming C on his chest before the season even started, due to him being named the 19th captain in Flames history after Jarome Iginla was dealt at the trade deadline. Mark is constantly praised by peers and staff for his versatile style of play with the Flames. Averaging 25 minutes per game and potting 134 points in 329 games over the past 5 seasons with the Flames, it didn't seem like a surprise when he got named captain. But it was no Cinderella Man story for Mark coming into the NHL.

For starters, he began his OHL career in Owen Sound in 2002 which was already 1 year after he was eligible for 2001 draft. After playing for 2 years in Owen Sound he totaled 97 points in 133 games and finally got signed to play for the Flames' farm team for the 2006 - 2007 season.

The following season he saw a lot more ice time playing 48 games in the NHL and gathering 15 points and getting his first two NHL goals against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Although he was generating moderate success at the NHL level, he was unable to negotiate a contract with the Flames and decided to go play overseas in the Russian Super League. There he refined his skating and puck handling abilities which the Flames organization grew fond of and decided to sign him to a two way contract at the beginning of the 2008 - 2009 season. Unfortunately, after accumulating 19 points in 58 games he suffered a serious shoulder injury, that required surgery, and he was sidelined for the remainder of that season.

Then came the 2009 - 2010 season in which Giordano really took his skills to the next level. The Flames with a strong blue line meant that it would be extremely difficult for Mark to make the lineup, especially coming off of his injury, but he shoved all of that back to the naysayers. It became a career year for the defenseman in which he reached career highs in points (30) and goals (11) and assists (19). The next season he excelled once again with 8 goals and 35 assists to finish off the season. His brilliant play throughout those two seasons, led to the team having great faith in him and signing him to a 5 year $20,000,000 extension. The next few of seasons had Giordano battling with the injury bug which cost him 28 missed games.

This season he is playing great once again with 17 points in 22 games played, which is more than how much he got in 47 games last year when only half the season was played. And even though it is a long shot, he just might make go to Sochi to play for Canada's hockey team as well, they have a shortage of left-handed defensemen, and Mark is playing consistently for a struggling Calgary team and he has experience playing on the big ice. It will not be an easy task considering players like Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Weber, and PK Subban are in the mix. But hey, the man's surpassed many expectations, if he manages to crack the lineup it will just make his hockey resume even more impressive than it already is.

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