I felt there was no sense wasting paper to go through a vote. I think it was pretty unanimous throughout the entire organization. - Bob Hartley
CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames finally announced their man.
After long admitting the team had decided on their 19th captain in franchise history, the Flames revealed defenceman Mark Giordano will wear the 'C' in Calgary this season.
"I felt there was no sense wasting paper to go through a vote," coach Bob Hartley said. "I think it was pretty unanimous throughout the entire organization."
Giordano assumes the role from former captain Jarome Iginla, who was dealt to the Pittsburgh Penguins at last year's trade deadline.
What he showed Hartley made him an easy heir to the captaincy.
"A captain should be an example of what you want to get accomplished in the organization," Hartley said. "Here's a guy that works nonstop. He's always there for the others. He never complains. There's never a bad day for Gio. Whenever you sit with him, he doesn't have the whiny look or anything. It's 'Lets do it' and we do it as a pro. Conditioning-wise, he's at the top.
"For me, since last year with the departure of Jarome, right away I started to look. Every day that I was talking to Jay, talking to the management, even at the end of the year when we met the players one-on-one, we were asking the players 'Who do you think is the best leader'."
The answer: Giordano.
"It's one of the best days in my career, for sure," Giordano said. "We have a lot of good leaders on our team and a lot of veteran guys and I'm going to get a lot of help in the area of leadership but to be considered and named, it's very humbling.
"It was pretty humbling to me that people in the organization think that highly of me. Just to even be considered was huge and then to be picked, I feel humbled and I feel like I can be a good leader. I feel like I have great teammates and great players around me who obviously are going to help me in that area."
Giordano first joined the organization after signing as an undrafted free agent in 2004. Since then, he's played 385 career games with 41 goals and 150 points.
"Obviously I would have never thought that this day would come," he said. "I think just our team, the direction we're going in, it's pretty cool. It's a big responsibility obviously and it's pretty cool that the organization feels that way about me. Great teammates, great players around me and we're excited. It feels real fresh. It feels like a change in direction this year with our team and we feel if we do things the right way, we can make some noise this year."
Giordano won't be alone.
His help comes in the form of Mike Cammalleri and Curtis Glencross, who will serve this season as alternate captains.
The leadership doesn't end at just the trio, though.
"We have a lot of great leaders in our dressing room and [Cammalleri] and [Glencross] are obviously two of those guys," Giordano said. "They can be standing right here today in my position and it would've been a great choice as well. I'm going to get their help, but there are guys like [Matt Stajan], [Lee Stempniak], [Brian McGrattan]. You could go right through our lineup; there's a lot of great leaders who have been around for a long time."
Hartley is counting on it.
The leadership core will be key in guiding Hartley's Flames through their first full year of a rebuild.
"With [Glencross], [Cammalleri] and [Giordano], they all have the quality of being great communicators and that's going to be a key because obviously this is a totally new culture. It's a new chapter in Flames history and I think that with those three guys, we're going to get some solid leadership from them. They're great individuals. They're good guys. They love to be around those (young) players."
It's Giordano's team to guide.
He did earn it, after all.
"A captain is sure on the ice, in the dressing room," Hartley said. "You need some qualities as a player but more importantly it's your quality as a person that makes you a captain. Gio is just phenomenal."
And Calgary's next captain.