Earlier today, reports from our friends at TSN indicated that contract talks between the Calgary Flames and captain Mark Giordano have begun. And per TSN, the initial ask from Giordano’s camp is pretty hefty.
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) June 24, 2015
Reportedly, Team Giordano is beginning the conversation with an ask in the vicinity of $9 million.
Now, before you begin hyperventilating and rush to Calgary’s NHL Numbers page trying to make the cap hit work, let’s face facts. Right now, Mark Giordano is Calgary’s best player, and its beating heart, on and off the ice. He probably would’ve gone into this weekend as a two-time Norris Trophy nominee if he didn’t have horrible luck with freak injuries. Over the past two seasons, very few individuals have faced tougher competition and had the kind of counting stats that Giordano has had.
Here’s a brief look at cap hits of Giordano’s peer group, via our pals at NHL Numbers:
- P.K. Subban: $9 million
- Shea Weber: $7.857 million
- Ryan Suter: $7.538 million
- Kris Letang: $7.25 million
- Drew Doughty: $7 million
- Dion Phaneuf: $7 million
- Zdeno Chara: $6.917 million
And Nations overlord Thomas Drance had this thought regarding Giordano’s actual comparables, should the Flames go ahead with the $9 million number.
Subban’s actual salary in his age-31 season: $10M. Weber’s: $12M. Suter’s: $9 M.
— Thomas Drance (@ThomasDrance) June 24, 2015
If you ignore age and focus just on on-ice performance and cap hits, $9 million isn’t a terrible ask. If you take into account Mark Giordano’s age and Calgary’s cap situation going forward – particularly with names like Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau and Kris Russell requiring new deals in the near-future – the main concern is probably term.
Will Mark Giordano’s play fall off a cliff over the next three seasons? I don’t have a crystal ball, but considering his track record and his reputation as being in tremendous shape, three seasons doesn’t sound terrible. I’d get nervous at anything longer than that, unless the Flames managed to get creative with term, or bonuses, or with the overall structure of the deal.
The Giordano camp seems to be on the right track. The Flames will probably try to get his cap hit down a bit with sentimentality, as home-town discounts are typically about keeping the proverbial band together, and the Flames are hell-bent on establishing their young core and keeping them together for awhile as they (ideally) make an attempt to win a championship.
I don’t think the Flames would be where they are without the on-ice and off-ice impacts of Mark Giordano, but I also think the composition of his impending contract extension will be critically important for the future of the franchise.