The Calgary Flames have found a replacement for longtime captain Jarome Iginla, naming defenseman Mark Giordano the 19th captain in franchise history.
“Mark represents all the qualities that we set as a coaching staff and an organization,” said Calgary head coach Bob Hartley in a statement. “He is a quality man who is proud to represent the Calgary Flames both on and off the ice.
“We are very happy with these three men leading and setting the example for our team, and especially our young players, as we move through this crucial yet exciting period in the history of the Flames franchise.”
Hartley reached a decision on who his next captain would be last week, but told reporters he had “a certain timing,” on making the announcement.
Giordano, 29, was tabbed by numerous people as the logical choice to succeed Iginla as captain. Flames forward Mike Cammalleri told the Calgary Sun last week that Giordano “would be a great captain of this group,” and “is a guy that I have a tremendous amount of respect for.”
A former standout with OHL Owen Sound, Giordano signed with the Flames as an undrafted free agent in 2004 and worked his way through the American Hockey League before making his NHL debut in 2005-06.
(It’s worth pointing out Giordano actually left the organization for a full season in 2007-08, playing in Russia with Dynamo Moscow during a contract dispute.)
He’s since represented Team Canada at the 2010 World Hockey Championships and had a stellar ’10-11 season, posting career highs in games (82), assists (35) and points (43).
That same year, he signed a five-year, $20 million deal with the Flames.
By donning the “C,” Giordano will join a very select group of Calgary captains, a list that includes Hockey Hall of Famers Lanny McDonald and Joe Nieuwendyk.
Of note: with Giordano taking the Flames’ captaincy and Jamie Benn taking Dallas’ yesterday, there are only four teams left that have yet to announce their new captains: Buffalo, Columbus, Edmonton and Tampa Bay.