Mark Giordano signs 6-year, $40.5 million deal with Flames

Mark Giordano signs 6-year, $40.5 million deal with Flames

Were it not for injuries, Mark Giordano could have been a Norris Trophy finalist (and likely winner) in each of the last two seasons. He’s a 31-year-old elite defenseman, on a Calgary Flames team that’s clearly ahead of schedule as a contender and has built a formidable blue line in front of average goaltending.

And now, he’s being paid as such: The Flames signed Giordano to a six-year extension worth $40.5 million according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, for a $6.75 million cap hit. He has one more year left at $4.02M AAV for the Flames.

From the Flames:

Giordano, a native of Toronto, Ontario, has been the captain of the Calgary Flames since 2013. He has played his entire NHL career with Calgary, amassing 66 goals and 179 assists for 245 points along with 466 penalty minutes in 510 games. Last season Giordano was named to the NHL All-Star Game and was a finalist for the NHL’s Foundation Player Award. Giordano was leading all NHL defencemen in scoring with 11 goals, 37 assists for 48 points in 61 games played before sustaining a season-ending injury on February 25th.

The initial ask from Giordano was an astronomical $9 million annually, which is how negotiations go. This contract, which kicks in for 2016-17, makes him the highest-paid Flames player starting next season and puts him right ahead of contracts signed by Alex Pietrangelo and Erik Karlsson, who it should be said are significantly younger.

And that’s the thing with this deal: It pays Giordano what he’s worth now, and maybe for the next three seasons; but at some point in this deal, he’s going to be a 37-year-old defenseman making $6.75 million, at a time when guys like Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau could be looking to have new deals that eat up UFA years.

For now, it’s a solid deal for a guy who’s been a top-five defenseman in this league for the last two seasons. They’ll make Dennis Wideman disappear within the year, and go forward with Giordano, TJ Brodie ($4.65 million AAV through 2020) and Dougie Hamilton ($5.75 million through 2021) as the heart of a very, very good defense. In front of, again, “affordable” goaltending.