The award is given to the player who best “exemplifies great leadership qualities to his team, on and off the ice, during the regular season and who plays a leading role in his community growing the game of hockey.”
The veteran Flames captain posted 31 points through 60 games for the Flames this season, prior to the pause brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon returning to play, Giordano posted three points in 10 post-season games as the Flames advanced through the qualifying round and into the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, averaging a team-leading 22:42 minutes of ice time per night.
Off the ice, the 31-year-old defender continues to make an impact in Calgary’s community through Team Giordano, an initiative aimed at promoting improved physical fitness and academics, as well as leadership development at high-needs schools.
Giordano is also involved in the Flames’ literacy program, the You Can Play Project and other initiatives promoting inclusion and accessibility.
“This is a huge honour for me and my family,” Giordano said on a Zoom call with Messier after learning he’d won. “To have my name on an award, the Mark Messier Award — I grew up idolizing you as a player and as a person, and I remember in the ’90s you playing with the Rangers, and just looking up to you as the ultimate leader.”
Giordano also spoke to the importance of the award’s connection to Calgary.
“Also, knowing that Jarome Iginla won this award as well, a guy that when I came into the league was my captain and my leader — I learned so many great things from him, on the ice but more importantly off the ice, the way he treated people and acted in the community,” Giordano said.
“… I’ve been here for 15 years now, learning so much from so many different people within our organization but also in the community of Calgary. Such a great community with so many great people willing to give back.”
Giordano’s off-ice work also earned him the Muhammad Ali Sports Humanitarian Award at the ESPY Awards in 2017.