Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano wins Norris Trophy as NHL's best defenceman
Mark Giordano of the Calgary Flames poses on the red carpet before the NHL Awards, Wednesday, June 19, 2019, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, June 19, 2019 8:19PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, June 19, 2019 9:14PM EDT
LAS VEGAS -- Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano won the Norris Trophy as the NHL's top defenceman at the league's awards ceremony on Wednesday.
The Toronto native became the first player in Flames history to win the award.
Giordano, 35, is just the fourth player aged 35 or older to win the award. He finished second among all defencemen in scoring with 74 points last season.
"Gio, I've been saying this for a long time, he's the best defenceman in the game," Flames defenceman Travis Hamonic said after the 2018-19 season. "He's gotta be the best leader. The season that he had, that's crazy. He means that much to our group, our team, this organization, the city. He's Mr. Everything for us."
Giordano beat out Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks and Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the award.
Giordano led the Flames to the best record in the Western Conference this past season. He also led the team in average time on ice (24:14 per game) and had 21 power-play points.
"He's the ultimate leader," Flames goalie Mike Smith said. "He wears his heart on sleeve. The points were there this year. He always played against teams' top players and was an excellent shut-down guy for us."
Burns, from Barrie, Ont., led all NHL defencemen with 83 points.
Hedman, the 2017-18 Norris Trophy winner, was a finalist for the award for the third season in a row.
Giordano got the nod after being an even or plus-rated player in 58 of 78 games this season.
"He was a heart and soul guy this year. Led by example," Flames forward Matthew Tkachuk said. "In the locker room, I sit right next to him. Everybody listens up and stops talking when he says something. The way he's able to get a grasp on the room, the way he's able to relate to everybody, it's very, very impressive."
Earlier, Vancouver Canucks centre Elias Pettersson won the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie.
The 20-year-old Swede was the first Canuck to win the award since Pavel Bure in 1991-92.
Pettersson set a Canucks rookie record with 66 points (28 goals, 38 assists) in 71 games this season, passing Bure and Ivan Hlinka (1881-91), who each had 60 points.
Pettersson, who scored seven game-winners, became the 31st player in NHL history to end a season leading in goals, assists and points.
Pettersson, picked fifth overall in 2017, beat out St. Louis Blues goalie Jordan Binnington and Buffalo Sabres defenceman Rasmus Dahlin for the award.
Binnington, a native of Richmond Hill, Ont., helped the Blues win the Stanley Cup after making his first career start on Jan. 7, with the team sitting last in the West standings.
Dahlin, the No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft, led all rookie defencemen with 44 points.
Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning were the finalists for the Hart Trophy, given to the league's most valuable player.
-- with files from Donna Spencer in Calgary.