It seemed like the Calgary Flames were going to have a big elephant in the room regarding Mark Giordano’s expiring contract next season. They removed that problem in a huge way on Tuesday.
The Flames announced a six-year contract extension for the Norris-caliber defenseman. Multiple outlets including TSN’s Bob McKenzie report that the cap hit will be $6.75 million, which would make the deal worth $40.5 million overall.
That contract will kick in beginning in 2016-17, making Giordano the highest-paid member of the Flames. He’ll make the same $6.75 million for each year of that deal, according to The Canadian Press’ Stephen Whyno.
While that’s an expensive deal out of context, that cap hit is quite the steal if Giordano remains one of the best defensemen in the NHL, which was absolutely a fair label for the veteran in 2014-15 before his season was cut short by injury.
(Really, you couldn’t hear Norris talk around awards season without “it would have been Giordano if he didn’t get hurt” …)
Here’s one additional detail about the contract, via General Fanager:
The Flames now boast a tremendous group of blueliners signed to long-term deals:
Giordano: $4.02 million in 2015-16, $6.75 million through 2021-22
Dougie Hamilton: $5.75M through 2020-21
TJ Brodie: $4.65M through 2019-20
Slight concerns amid a mostly joyous situation
Now, this does leave a few questions. Is someone like Dennis Wideman going to be the odd man out? Will this make it more difficult to re-sign the fantastic trio of Jiri Hudler (UFA), Johnny Gaudreau (RFA) and Sean Monahan (RFA) after 2015-16?
You really have to strain to see the downside for the Flames, however, as this is a bargain by expensive, high-end defensemen terms.
The genuine worry is age. Giordano is 31, he’ll turn 32 in October and will be 33 around the time his next contact kicks in.
With that “price of doing business” concern out of the way, it’s ultimately a pretty fantastic deal for the Flames.