CALGARY – Even before scoring the opening goal on Wednesday night, Kraken defender Mark Giordano was always going to be the big story of the game given his 15 seasons here – the last eight as captain – with his hometown Flames.
So, after Wednesday’s morning practice, there were understandably a slew of media inquiries for Giordano and questions about his selection by the Kraken in the July expansion draft and leaving the only NHL team that he was. ‘he had known before at the age of 37. But Giordano, who turns 38 next week, has at times seemed more concerned with his new team getting to know each other on the ice than reconnecting with former teammates.
Since longtime veterans aren’t always known to make early training camp trips for back-to-back road games, he was asked if he had applied to enter this contest.
âJust our schedule, when we look at it, we only have four games left,â said Giordano. âAnd being a new team, we have to get to know each other and play games. “
That said, he did have a brief chat in the hallway with a number of former teammates.
âIt’s different, for sure, coming from the other side,â said Giordano. âI mean, just go out on the ice. Lots of familiar faces around here. But it will be different. Can’t wait to play boys there. ”
Giordano, who still has a home in Calgary that others are looking after, said he was happy to have the comeback under his belt sooner. The Kraken have a regular season game here in December and Giordano believes it will be an even bigger event for him.
For years, Giordano and his wife, Lauren, have become fixtures in the greater Calgary community. They partnered with Habitat for Humanity in 2011 to build homes in developing countries.
In 2014, they launched a Team Giordano initiative to provide resources to four low-income Calgary schools to support student needs and personal development. They helped students who could not afford to make trips to class, who lacked food, or needed other support. They often showed up in front of classrooms to interact with the children.
Lauren and the couple’s two children, son Jack, 8, and daughter Reese, 3, have moved to Seattle to be with Giordano this season.
âIt was awesome,â he said. âI think the city of Seattle, you get used to it as a family. My family and I like it. Many things to do.
âBut as far as the team goes, there are just a lot of new faces. I think it’s a very important camp to get used to each other. Get used to the way we’re going to play.
âAs I said before, we only have four left. So it’s really important tonight to start here and then the following weekend (in Everett and Kent) and pretty much from there we go into the regular season. So it’s going to be some important little games here for our team. ”
Kraken coach Dave Hakstol said what impressed him the most about Giordano was the way he handled the day of the expansion draft.
âThe person who came to see us in the expansion draft shortly after hearing he was going to be selected was just incredibly impressive,â Hakstol said after Wednesday morning practice. “And the way he’s been able to handle this whole situation, deal with it all, and then in that short period of time to have that positive outlook and a real excitement of being a part of something new in Seattle, I have found that very impressive. “
- Hakstol was not so impressed with his team’s efforts in a 6-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday night. This meant that the Kraken, in their first two preseason games, beat a Vancouver Canucks team filled with mostly minor-league hopefuls before largely seeing their own guys ultimately get beaten. by what was primarily a bunch of Oilers first teams.
âYou learn a lot from either outcome and that’s the most important thing,â Hakstol said. âWe take the good and the bad out of each of the key performances and really look to pull the good and bad out of individual player performances and assess it that way as well. So we are making progress but we have a long way to go. ”
- The Kraken announced the signing of forward Max McCormick to a one-year, one-year, $ 750,000 contract on Wednesday night. McCormick, 29, played 83 career NHL games with Ottawa and most recently the Carolina Hurricanes last season, scoring eight goals and five assists combined for both.
Since being drafted in the sixth round by Ottawa ten years ago, most of the 5-foot-11, 188-pound player’s career has been in the American Hockey League. He played 56 games with the AHL Charlotte Checkers in 2019-20 and was a popular player there – that’s where he’s likely listed again as this team is the Kraken’s AHL affiliate this season.
âMax is a hard-working forward who plays a gritty and energetic game,â said Kraken general manager Ron Francis. “He appears to be a fan favorite everywhere he plays and he brings a strong work ethic to our organization.”