|Born||October 3, 1983 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight||203 lb (92 kg; 14 st 7 lb)|
Junior Playing Career
Mark played one season of Junior A hockey with the Brampton Capitals of the Ontario Junior Hockey League in 2001–02 where he scored 24 goals in the playoffs to help lead the Capitals to the Ontario provincial championship.
He then moved up to major junior, playing two seasons with the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He was the top scoring defenceman on the team for both years.
As a 19-year-old rookie, Mark recorded 48 points for Owen Sound in 2002–03 and, as one of the top first-year players in the league, was named to the OHL First All-Rookie Team.
Despite his offensive success in junior, MArk went unselected at the NHL Entry Draft. He accepted an invitation to attend the Phoenix Coyotes' training camp where, according to then-Owen Sound General Manager Mike Futa, he impressed team officials, but believed that he would be best served by playing a second season in the OHL.
Mark finished the 2003–04 season with 49 points.
After graduating from junior hockey, Mark enrolled at York University and planned to study at its school of business when he received a late invitation from the Calgary Flames to attend their summer camp.
Former Flames coach Jim Playfair recalled that Mark stood out among the group of invitees and said that his skill and skating ability set him apart: "Darryl Sutter met with three or four of those kids and gave them all the same contracts: Three years in the American League, and if it works out for you, you've got a career. Gio took it and ran with it."
The Flames signed Mark to a contract following the camp.
Professional Playing Career
The Flames assigned Mark to their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Lowell Lock Monsters, for the 2004–05 season where he scored 6 goals and added 10 assists in 66 games.
He remained in the AHL for much of the 2005–06 season, transferring to Calgary's new affiliate, the Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights.
Mark led the Knights in scoring, recording 16 goals and 58 points in 73 games. Additionally, he was second among defencemen in the AHL in goal scoring and fourth in points
The Flames recalled Mark to Calgary at mid-season and he made his NHL debut on January 30, 2006, against the St. Louis Blues. Mark appeared in seven games with the Flames, and recorded his first NHL point with an assist on April 8, 2006, against the Vancouver Canucks.
In the 2006–07 season, he played only five games in Omaha as he spent the majority of the campaign in Calgary.
In 48 games with the Flames, he recorded 7 goals and 15 points Mark scored his first two NHL goals on October 14, 2006, against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Unable to come to terms on a new contract with the Flames prior to the 2007–08 season, Mark left the NHL to sign with HC Dynamo Moscow of the Russian Super League.
According to Playfair, he did not sign in Russia over money. Instead, he left due to the fact that he felt he had proven what he could do in the AHL and, lacking a guarantee that he would be in the NHL, sought a higher calibre league in which to play.
Mark scored 4 goals and 13 points in 50 games with Dynamo and played with the winning Canadian team at the 2007 Spengler Cup
The Canadian national team named him an alternate at the 2008 IIHF World Championship in case of injury to a roster player, however he never appeared in a game.
Though he feared his decision to leave for Russia would damage his relationship with the Flames, Mark and the team came to terms on a three-year contract that brought him back to Calgary for the 2008–09 NHL season.
Mark appeared in 58 games for the Flames and scored 19 points before a shoulder injury ended his season. He required surgery to repair the damage suffered in a game against the Minnesota Wild.
Mark recovered in time to begin the 2009–10 season, but several new additions to Calgary's defensive corps left him concerned about his position with the team. Instead, he solidified his place on the roster with a career year; he set personal highs in goals (11), points (30) and was +17 for the Flames.
The Hockey News named Mark one of the most underrated players in the league and he was invited to join Team Canada at the 2010 IIHF World Championship. He led the team's defencemen with three goals in the tournament and added an assist in seven games.
Despite having the option to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2010–11 season, Mark opted to remain in Calgary and signed a five-year, $20 million contract extension with the Flames on October 29, 2010. He led the team's defencemen in scoring and set another career high with 43 points in 82 games.
Mark missed several weeks of the 2011–12 season after suffering a torn hamstring. The injury caused him (who was named an alternate captain prior to the season's start) to miss 21 games. He finished with 27 points in 61 games, then scored 15 points in 47 games in the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season.
Mark was named the 19th captain in Flames history on September 20, 2013, as he succeeded Jarome Iginla, who was traded late in the 2012–13 season.
He was praised by his teammates and coaches staff for both his long tenure with the franchise and for his playing style: Mark played in all situations for the Flames, was one of the hardest workers on the team and was willing to sacrifice himself to block a shot or defend his teammates.
Head coach Bob Hartley praised Mark's influence on his teammates as the rebuilding Flames team established an identity as a squad which was noted across the league for its work ethic.
A blocked shot injured Mark early in the 2013–14 season as he suffered a broken ankle in late October. He missed 18 games due to the injury, during which the Flames gained only five wins. Still, he recorded career highs of 13 goals and 47 points.
Even though Mark was not named to the team, his growing reputation placed him on Team Canada's short list for the 2014 Winter Olympics and he received a first place vote (finishing 10th overall) in voting for the James Norris Memorial Trophy as the league's top defenceman.
A surge in offensive production from Mark and fellow defencemen T.J. Brodie and Dennis Wideman resulted in the Flames being one of the NHL's biggest surprises early in the 2014–15 season.
Predicted to finish near the bottom of the standings before the season, the Flames instead began December with one of the best records in the league, in large part due to the play of Mark, who led all NHL defencemen with 25 points, four better than Brodie. His plus-minus of +14 ranked him second in the league.
The NHL recognized his early season play by naming him its First Star of the month of November.
Mark was subsequently named as the Flames' representative at the 60th National Hockey League All-Star Game. He played his 500th career game on February 2, 2015, in a victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
Mark set a personal best by scoring his 48th point of the season in a 3–1 win over the New Jersey Devils on February 25, but also suffered an injury in the game.
The Flames announced one week later that he required surgery for a completely torn biceps tendon; the estimated recovery time of four to five months meant that his season was over.
Regular season and playoffs
|2002–03||Owen Sound Attack||OHL||68||18||30||48||109||4||1||3||4||2|
|2003–04||Owen Sound Attack||OHL||65||14||35||49||72||7||1||3||4||5|
|2004–05||Lowell Lock Monsters||AHL||66||6||10||16||85||11||0||1||1||41|
|2005–06||Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights||AHL||73||16||42||58||141||—||—||—||—||—|
|2006–07||Omaha Ak-Sar-Ben Knights||AHL||5||0||2||2||8||3||0||1||1||2|
|OHL First All-Rookie Team||2002–03|
|J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award
Cgy – Courtesy and respect
|Played in NHL All-Star Game||2015, 2016|
Mark's father, Paul, is a real estate agent and his mother, Anna, a hairdresser. He has an older sister, Michelle and had another older sister, Mia, who was killed in a car accident when he was 14 years old.
Mark taps his helmet twice with his stick at the end of the national anthems before each game as a quiet tribute to his sister, whose death had a lasting impact on him and his family & brought them closer together.
As a youth, Mark played both hockey and baseball, but focused on hockey as the demands of both sports on his time increased. He played his minor hockey in North York and attended Chaminade College School.
Mark and his wife, Lauren are spokespeople for Habitat for Humanity.
They launched a program called "5-for-5" in January of 2011 that aimed to build five homes for the organization, one in the Calgary area and four in Africa and Asia. He donated $25,000 of the $130,000 cost himself, and his contribution was matched by the Flames charitable foundation.
The team honoured Mark for his work with Habitat for Humanity and the Flames Foundation for Life by naming him the recipient of the J. R. "Bud" McCaig Award in 2012.
Prior to the 2014–15 season, Mark and Lauren launched another initiative, known as the "Team Giordano Project" where they and the Flames' charitable arm donated funding to three Calgary schools to supply new gym equipment and computers as well as to visit the schools and offer mentorship to the students.