Due, but more importantly, deserving.
Veteran Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano claimed his first Norris Trophy at the NHL Awards on Wednesday night in Las Vegas, receiving the honour over perennial challengers Victor Hedman and Brent Burns of the Tampa Bay Lightning and San Jose Sharks, respectively.
Registering 17 goals and a career-best 74 points (which was 18 better than his previous personal mark), Giordano finished second to Burns in production off the blue line.
Evidently he was able to make up for that difference everywhere else.
Giordano led the Flames with a sparkling 57 even-strength percent possession mark while logging over 24 minutes a night against the best competition the Western Conference could throw at him.
His efforts were the driving force behind Calgary’s best season since winning the Stanley Cup in 1988-89. The Flames finished with 107 points to secure the top seed in the Western Conference.
Few players can argue they had more influence on a night-to-night basis than Giordano, who had turned 35 just before the start of his 13th season with the franchise.
Giordano is the first Flames defenseman to win the position’s highest honour.
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