There’s just certain numbers throughout the Flames history that you always equate with one player and #5 is one of those. Fifteen players have worn the sweater with 5 on it, the first being Ron Harris WAAAAAAAAY back in 1973. But it’s the current Flames Captain, Mark Giordano that has been the best player to wear that number in Flames franchise history.
What makes Gio’s story so interesting is that he took the long road to get to the NHL. The guy who’s played in the second most games in Flames history wasn’t even drafted. Giordano played a little bit of everywhere, making stops with the North York Rangers (OPJHL), Brampton Capitals (OPJHL), Owen Sound Attack (OHL), Lowell Loch Monsters (AHL) and the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights (AHL) before finally getting the chance to skate with the Flames. Calgary would sign the defenceman in 2004, but the Flames future Captain wouldn’t hit the ice with the Flames until 2005-06 when he only played in seven games. As if his road to the NHL wasn’t grueling enough, Giordano played in 48 NHL games in 2006-07, but spent the 2007-08 season in Russia playing for Moscow Dynamo.
However, starting in 2008-09, Giordano became a staple in the Flames lineup and would become Calgary’s 20th Captain when Jarome Iginla was traded in 2013. He’s held the captaincy for seven straight seasons, becoming the second longest tenured Flames Captain since Iginla held it for nine straight seasons. Giordano’s career numbers and leadership roles clearly define him as the greatest #5 in franchise history. As mentioned above he’s second in games played (893), fifth in assists (349), 9th in points (483), 9th in short handed goals (10) and 4th in shots with 1887.
During his 14 years as a member of the Flames he has been an All Star three times, won the Mark Messier Leadership Award, a Norris Trophy and been a fixture in the Calgary community. By the time Giordano either retires or moves on from the Flames he will be close to leading almost all of the Calgary’s records as a defenceman. He’s got some work to do, but he will be closing in on some of Al MacInnis’s records and will clearly be the second best player to man the blue line in Flames history. Not bad for an undrafted guy that languished in the minors waiting for his chance. He’s clearly made the most of it.
Other Players Having Worn #5 In Flames History
Ron Harris (1973), Curt Bennett (1973-78), Dick Redmond (1978), Brad Marsh (1979-82), Phil Russell (1981-83), Mickey Volcan (1984), Neil Sheehy (1985-88), Dana Murzyn (1988-91), Kevan Guy (1991-92), Chris Dalhquist (1993-94), James Patrick (1995), Joel Bouchard (1996), Tommy Albelin (1996-2001), Steve Montador (2003-06)
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Is Mark Giordano the best Flames player to wear the #5?
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