For the first time since 2003 the Calgary Flames needed to select a new captain and they made an outstanding choice. Mark Giordano becomes the 19th captain in team history today replacing the departed Jarome Iginla. While it is never an easy decision when you have you to replace a legend of Iginla’s stature; the Flames couldn’t have made a better pick.
Giordano epitomizes everything you would want in the leader of your hockey club. He’s tough, he’s talented, he is active in the community, and most importantly he’s a great leader. His journey to the NHL proves that he has the heart and determination to push through tough times. Not only was Giordano not drafted, but he has had to overcome personal tragedy to get to where he is today.
That kind of character can’t be taught.
Social media was ablaze earlier today with posts questioning the choice. Some suggested the Flames should vacate the captaincy for a year out of respect to Iginla. Others posted that the Flames should wait until Sean Monahan was ready to accept the role and that Calgary should go with 3 alternates.
Wrong on all counts.
The Flames need leadership now. This is not going to be an easy season by any means. They need a focal point of leadership, someone that is going to be accountable to the press and fans. Giordano is that stand-up guy you need answering the same questions over and over again and taking the heat off the younger guys. The idea of “captain in waiting” for Monahan has the potential for disaster. Let the kid develop at his own pace without the specter of responsibility hanging over him.
The Flames, without question, picked the right man to help lead them through this massive rebuilding project. The playoffs are going to seem like a pipe dream for some time as the young Flames begin to mature and become ready to play at the NHL level but there is sun on the horizon.
Having the right leaders in place is half the battle along with having the right talent. With Brian Burke jumping on board, Jay Feaster already in place, and now Mark Giordano as the captain the Flames have the leadership to rebuild the right way.
It may take a little time but the Calgary Flames are headed in the right direction.