ANAHEIM, CA -- Mark Giordano has received plenty of nods as captain of the Calgary Flames.
He added another Wednesday.
For the second time in three seasons, Giordano is the Flames’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.
“Gio … he’s the epitome of a guy that you want to follow,” Calgary forward Joe Colborne said. “His work ethic is second-to-none and he’s the back-bone of this team. He’s just now getting the recognition that I think he has been overdue to receive. It’s nice to see that he’s finally getting the respect throughout the league and throughout the media and stuff. He does so many things behind the scenes that you don’t notice. He’s very deserving.”
The Masterton Memorial Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport. Giordano was nominated by the Calgary chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association (PHWA). The PWHA also nominated Giordano in 2013-14.
“One year after a torn biceps tendon ended his season and prevented him from being on the ice for his team’s unexpected playoff run, Giordano is back to 100% and back among the NHL’s elite defencemen,” the Calgary chapter wrote in a release. “Calgary’s captain has set career highs in both goals and points, totals which put him in the top 10 in the league, while providing a young, rebuilding squad with the necessary leadership it needs.
“Undrafted into the NHL -- nor the Ontario Hockey League, from where the Flames signed him as an unrestricted free agent -- Giordano has become a top-tier blueliner through his relentless work ethic. Moreover, he’s a prime example of professionalism, not just on the ice but off the ice with the media.”
The trophy was first presented by the NHL Writers' Association in 1968 to commemorate the late William Masterton, a player for the Minnesota North Stars. Masterton died on Jan. 15, 1968 after an injury sustained during a hockey game.
The winner is selected in a poll of all chapters of the PHWA at the end of the regular season.
“I’m really excited about it,” Giordano said. “I’ve said it before, but you don’t take anything like that for granted. It’s cool. I’m excited about it and thankful for it, for sure.”
The nomination is well deserved, according to Flames coach Bob Hartley.
“When you talk about commitment you always look at Gio,” Hartley said. “I ask all the young players in this organization, you want to know what it’s like to be a pro… follow our captain. Do exactly what he does. When he eats, you eat. When he goes to get ready or when he goes into the gym you follow him and look at what he does because he is flawless. You never worry about if he is going to be ready or if he is going to show up. He’s there and that’s why he is our leader.
“That’s part of our culture. That’s who we elected that would be our leader, our captain and it was an easy choice. Just looking at all those on ice, off ice, in the community… Gio is always the same. He reminds me a lot of Joe Sakic in this aspect. Real easy to coach, you never worry about him.
“The one thing you know is that he is always going to be on the ice and he is going to leave everything. During every game he is going to give it all. We are very proud to have him as our captain.”
Two members of the Flames, Lanny McDonald in 1983 and Gary Roberts in 1996, have won the Masterton Memorial Trophy.