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Calgary has new captain; Flames not naming names

by Aaron Vickers /

CALGARY -- Bob Hartley knows who will be the next captain of the Calgary Flames.

He's just not telling.

Searching for a replacement after dealing franchise face and longtime captain Jarome Iginla in the days leading up to the trade deadline last season, Hartley's got the "C" firmly stitched on the jersey of one of his players.

"I want to make it clear, we're not thinking of someone, our choice is made up a long time ago," Hartley said after the coach watched his team hit the ice for the first time in training camp.

"We sat last year, we went through the individual meetings, we talked with the players, I sat down and talked with Jay, I talked with management, I even talked with ownership and our choice was clear-cut. We have some very good prospects to be captains, to be assistant captains. All our meetings were done and basically we were coming up with one name.

"It was basically unanimous that it was the one guy."

But who that unanimous vote is remains to be revealed.

"We had a certain timing that we want to reach and obviously I can't share this with you because that morning, [the media] will all be at the door at my house," Hartley said.

"I'll keep it a surprise."

Among the candidates are trio Mike Cammalleri, Mark Giordano and Curtis Glencross. All three served as assistant captains last season.

And as much as Cammalleri would appreciate the honor, he's already cast his support behind another.

"I definitely wouldn't turn something like that down," the 31-year-old said. "Having said that, my vote is Mark Giordano would make a great captain of this group.

"I'll be up front and honest about that. He's been here a long time. He's a guy who I have a tremendous amount of respect for and being an assistant captain to him would be an honor."

Giordano, who has played 385 career NHL games -- all with Calgary -- isn't about to turn the offer down should his name be announced.

"I think anyone would love to wear a 'C', anytime," Giordano said. "Any of the 750 players would answer yes."

"As far as being one of the older guys, I guess now, I've always thought you can say whatever you want off the ice, but I think the main thing is guys look up to guys who play well on the ice and do the right things on the ice. I am going to try and do that and play hard every night and at practice and go from there."

Finding the right leader for a franchise entering a rebuilding phase is critical. The 29-year-old Giordano certainly fits the bill.

He also fits Hartley's description of the characteristics possessed by his new captain.

"The number one quality of a captain, you have to be a great individual and that goes with the choice that we made," Hartley said. "At the same time, it's added responsibilities but this year it's about being a team. We don't have that one or two big names on our team. We're going to have to be a very tight family whether we're on the ice, off the ice, in the gym. I think this guy can really be the glue that we need to be a solid family.

"What we're looking for from this guy (is) to be an example and I think this guy, he is a great example, an example of commitment, dedication, takes care of everyone. … I thought it was an easy choice."

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