Mark Giordano has already technically made his return to the Saddledome. The former Calgary Flames captain suited up for the Seattle Kraken in a preseason game against his old club and remembers it fondly.
It would have certainly been more intense this week when the Kraken came back to Calgary for their first regular-season contest. The Saddledome crowd will have to wait to either cheer or boo him, however, because the Calgary Flames COVID outbreak meant that Friday’s Kraken game was one of a handful that were postponed.
Giordano joked on Hockey Night in Canada’s After Hours about the previous preseason return, which saw him score a goal against his former team.
“I was looking forward to getting back and seeing some old friends, but I already got back there and sniped on the guys,” he said with a laugh. Had a pretty good time in that one. I’m sure I’ll have an opportunity down the road.”
The 38-year-old veteran, who was also named the expansion Kraken’s first ever captain, wasn’t as nervous as he thought he would be when he returned
“I thought it was going to feel a lot weirder going in there and playing in that game. But I felt pretty comfortable, pretty relaxed out there on the ice. I thought I was going to be a little more nervous,” Giordano said.
“It was weird at the start, but I’ve adapted well. I’ve made some great relationships here as well and I’m enjoying Seattle.”
Calgary Flames having success without heart-and-soul captain
The Flames have had more success than many anticipated without their heart-and-soul captain. They built a solid 15-7-6 record before their season was paused because of the Omicron outbreak. And they still sit third in the Pacific Division despite not playing since Dec. 11.
There’s no telling when they’ll resume, although their dates against the Oilers on Dec. 27 and against the Kraken in Seattle on the 30th have not been postponed as of yet.
Nothing would surprise Giordano when it comes to the pandemic. He had to quarantine in Florida a few weeks ago after he tested positive. Separated from his family and close friends was tough on him even though he didn’t have much in the way of symptoms.
“It’s something you take seriously. A lot of us in the league, we have wives at home, we have children at home, and you really worry about bringing the virus home,” he said.
“It’s a scary situation at the start when you first test positive. Thankfully I didn’t have symptoms that really affected me. Thank God for iPhones and FaceTime and all that now. It’s not easy. It’s not an easy thing to be in a room by yourself for 10 days. I really feel for people who do get symptoms and are alone. I really feel for them.”
Giordano a popular name on the NHL trade front
The possibility exists that Giordano could join another team at the NHL trade deadline this year, despite his status as captain of the Kraken. Unless he signs a new deal, he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
His response to Scott Oake was an honest one, although he wasn’t about to predict what was going to happen.
“You think about it. It pops in your mind. You’d be lying if you said you didn’t,” Giordano said of the NHL trade chatter and his potential to be moved.
“A lot of responsibility was put in me with them giving me the captaincy here. My commitment is totally here, and we’ll see how things shake out down the road. What I’ve learned in this game is things change week to week in this league.”