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The defenceman earned 96% of the first-place votes

by TORIE PETERSON @ToriePeterson /

After a career year at the age of 35, Mark Giordano has been named this year's Norris Trophy winner.

"It feels pretty surreal today, to be honest," the veteran said.

"It feels pretty good to be mentioned with (Brent Burns) and (Victor Hedman) as well as all the winners in the past, all the great players who have won this trophy in the past.

"To be recognized at my age for this award is a moment that's really special for me and my family."

The Flames captain is the first defenceman in franchise history to win the award, which is given annually to the "defence player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-around ability in the position." Al MacInnis and Dion Phaneuf both finished second in voting in 1989-90 and 2007-08 respectively.

Giordano was nearly a unanimous choice among the voters, earning 96% of the first-place ballots from the PWHA.

Tweet from @PR_NHL: Norris Trophy winner @MarkGio05, who at age 35 posted career highs of 57 assists and 74 points, earned a whopping 96% of first-place votes. Full Results: #NHLAwards #NHLStats

In addition to sitting second in scoring among NHL defencemen with 17 goals and 74 points, Giordano led all skaters with a plus-39 rating and was fourth among all blueliners in even-strength Corsi-for percentage at 57.34 through 78 regular season games. He also led all NHL defencemen in short-handed scoring with 6 points and his 4 short-handed goals were the most by a blueliner since Nicklas Lidstrom posted the same amount in 1999-2000.


Video: Mark Giordano earns James Norris Memorial Trophy


Teammate Sean Monahan was in attendance on Wednesday as a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy and couldn't have been happier to witness his captain winning the Norris.

"It was a great time," Monahan told "It was surreal. The cherry on top is Gio winning that award. 

"The work he put in to get where he is today is pretty phenomenal ... he does the little things (right), he's such a nice guy, he's such a good player, he works so hard. He's someone you can look up to.

"He's a true role model and obviously right now, the best defenceman in the NHL."

Giordano has previously won the NHL Foundation Player Award in 2016 and the ESPY Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award in 2017 for his work in Calgary and surrounding communities.

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