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Flames' Mark Giordano Wins 2019 Norris Trophy for NHL's Top Defenseman

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2019

Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano plays against the Detroit Red Wings in the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Paul Sancya/Associated Press

Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano won the 2019 Norris Trophy on Wednesday.

NHL on NBC @NHLonNBCSports

The best player to man the blue line in 2019: @MarkGio05! https://t.co/yzZg4kaYSL

Giordano won the award in a landslide, beating out fellow finalists Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning:

Sportsnet Stats @SNstats

Norris Trophy voting results https://t.co/GELrwLaZHs

It marks the first career Norris Trophy for the 13-year vet, who became the first Flames player to receive the honor. He also becomes one of the oldest first-time winners ever, per Sportsnet Stats:

Sportsnet Stats @SNstats

Oldest first-time Norris Trophy winners Al MacInnis: 1998-99 (35 years old) #Flames Mark Giordano: 2018-19 (35 years old) Harry Howell: 1966-67 (34 years old) https://t.co/wiX3Vn82ex

Giordano is coming off his most productive season to date. The 35-year-old scored 17 goals while establishing new career highs in both assists (57) and points (74).

Peter Loubardias @fan960lou

Mark Giordano reaches the 60 point plateau at 35. Just the 4th defenceman in history of the NHL to do so.

NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

Mark Giordano became the fifth defenseman in @NHLFlames franchise history to record 50 assists in a single season. #NHLStats #NJDvsCGY https://t.co/IPiE5Ht2sM https://t.co/W1uFS0gRbV

Pat Steinberg @Fan960Steinberg

Mark Giordano’s 16th goal of the season gets him up to 70 points on the season (16G, 54A). He’s the first Calgary d-man to hit 70 points since Al MacInnis had 82 points (28G, 54A) in 1993-94. #Flames

His plus-minus of plus-39 was also a personal best by a wide margin, as his previous best was a plus-22 in 2016-17.

There is more to Giordano than just his stats, though. Calgary coach Bill Peters pointed out earlier this season that his captain played an important role in the locker room.  

"There's definitely a positive influence in our room, especially amongst the young D," Peters said in April, per David Satriano of NHL.com. "You don't want to be a young D cutting your teeth in this league, and all of a sudden you're off the ice before him all the time, you're out of the rink before him all the time. When you're at the rink, be productive, and that's what he is. He's very productive with the use of his time."

With Giordano leading the way, Calgary recorded a Western Conference-high 107 points during the regular season. His playmaking abilities helped the Flames to put up the joint-second-most goals in the league in 2018-19.

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Giordano's strong season resulted in one of the sport's most prestigious individual awards. However, the defenseman has made sure to credit his teammates along the way, per Satriano:

"It always feels good to contribute and get points offensively, but again, we have such a good team, we score so many goals that a lot of guys' numbers are going to look really good this year. ...

"We've been pretty consistent all year. Our style of play and our details is what helps us every night. We have a lot of depth."

With the help of his teammates, it was a special year for Giordano.

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