SUN Hockey Pool

Blueliner trades in all-stars

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 9:09 AM ET

ST. LOUIS -- Mark Giordano was supposed to take part in the AHL skills competition and all-star game in Winnipeg over the next two days.

Instead, he's with the Calgary Flames, enjoying the afterglow of his NHL debut.

"I'm willing to take that trade-off every day," the defenceman said.

Summoned from the Omaha Knights after Roman Hamrlik sustained a broken bone in his left hand Sunday in Chicago, Giordano skated in last night's game against the St. Louis Blues.

Not quite two years removed from junior, Giordano couldn't have imagined the NHL call this quickly.

Undrafted after his overage season with OHL Owen Sound, he figured his hockey hopes were quashed.

The 6-ft., 203-lb. defenceman from Toronto was even looking into his university options when the Flames called and invited him to their 2004 summer rookie camp.

On July 6, 2004, he signed his first pro contract.

"I had a school lined up in Toronto and was going to go there but then I signed and things have gone well since then," he said. "Just to be offered a contract made me so happy."

After a six-goal, 16-point AHL rookie season in Lowell, Giordano has taken his game to a new level with Knights, collecting 35 points (9-26-35) in 49 games, the second highest total on a young Omaha squad.

But before arriving in St. Louis, he caught some pearls of wisdom from Richie Regehr, who had a four-week stint with the Flames.

"He told me things happen quicker but there is always a play to be made and always someone you know wants the puck," Giordano said.


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