An already tough season just got tougher for the Calgary Flames. Today, the club announced defenseman Mark Giordano has been placed on injured reserve with ruptured tendons in his leg. Giordano suffered the injury in Tuesday’s game against Nashville — there’s no timetable for his return and a second MRI will be performed in three weeks to re-evaluate the injury.
Giordano might not be well-known outside of Calgary, but he’s a wildly underrated defenseman and a key piece to the team. “Can’t underestimate the loss of Girodano to the Flames,” Vicki Hall of the Calgary Herald tweeted. “[He’s] their most valuable defenseman.”
Giordano’s value is tied to his offensive capabilities. Calgary gets minimal production from its blueline — Jay Bouwmeester’s offense has fallen off a cliff and last year’s second-leading blueline scorer, Anton Babchuck, has been banished to the press box. Giordano, meanwhile, had 43 points a season ago and is Calgary’s sixth-leading goalscorer this year.
His injury means that Cory Sarich will likely draw back into the Flames lineup. Now that’s an interesting development in itself, because Sarich recently demanded a trade out of Calgary after spending most of the season as a healthy scratch.