The Calgary Flames will have another representative at the annual National Hockey League Awards gala in Las Vegas, as captain Mark Giordano has been named one of three finalists for the Mark Messier Leadership Award. He’s competing with Anaheim Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf and Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno for the honour.
Giordano, 33, has been the Flames’ captain since 2013-14, taking over the role after the departure of future Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla. In four seasons as captain, he’s led the club to two playoff appearances. He’s been lauded for his leadership characteristics on and off the ice. Teammate Kris Versteeg called him “one of the best leaders I’ve ever played with” and he’s been a frequent nominee for various charitable awards for his off-ice work in the community – he won the NHL Foundation Player Award last year, for example. Not bad for a guy that was never drafted.
Named after Hall of Famer and noted hockey leader Mark Messier, the Messier Leadership Award is awarded “to the player who exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice during the regular season.” The finalists and yearly winner are chosen by Messier himself. Iginla took home the prize in 2008-09.
Giordano will join Johnny Gaudreau, a finalist for the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy, at the annual NHL Awards gala when the trophies are handed out on June 21.