Flames sign captain Mark Giordano to 6-year, $40.5 million contract extension

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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames have signed 31-year-old defenseman and captain Mark Giordano to a six-year contract extension the club announced on Tuesday. The deal is worth a reported $40.5 million overall, and carries an annual average value of $6.75 million.

Giordano – who turns 32 prior to the beginning of this upcoming season – is entering the final year of his current five-year, $20.1 million contract, so obviously this new deal represents a significant and well earned raise. It’s also a pretty big win for Flames management, considering that Giordano’s camp reportedly was looking for an eight-year deal worth more than $70 million.

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While the contract arguably comes in below market value, it’s still a risky proposition for the Flames. Giordano, after all, won’t suit up for his first regular season game under his new contract until he’s 33-years-old, and he’ll be taking up $6.75 million in cap space at the age of 39 – during a season in which all of Calgary’s projectable, elite core (Sam Bennett, Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau) will be getting paid at unrestricted free agent rates. 

It seems highly unlikely that Giordano will be the player he is today during the latter stages of the contract. 

Obviously the injury issue is another concern. Though Giordano has mostly been extraordinarily durable in his career, he hasn’t played a full 82 game season since the 2010-11 campaign. Even for a savvy, puck-moving defender like Giordano, it can become difficult to stay healthy when playing a physically demanding position into your mid- to late- 30s. 

Risks are part and parcel with retaining elite talent in their unrestricted free agent seasons, but they’re particularly pronounced for Giordano because of his odd career path. This is a player who wasn’t really elite until he turned 29, but based on what he’s done over the past two seasons, is easily a top-10 defender in the game. 

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We’ll have to see how this plays out over the subsequent seven years, but what’s clear today is that this is a big ticket deal for a player outside of his traditional prime years. Even in spite of the favourable cap hit it’s a tough deal for a team that’s likely to be committing serious chunks of change and cap space to a small group of key, star-quality forwards in the coming years. It’s also a significant hometown discount on Giordano’s part, which goes a long way towards minimizing that risk. 

When you’re hot, you’re hot. And there’s no doubting that this summer Flames management has been hot.

    • DoubleDIon

      Giordano is on the downslope of his career when he’s just had the best 2 seasons of his career? Hard to figure out the logic on that one. Even the Go Oilers bit. It’s the exact opposite of what you guys cheer for. Austin Matthews is pretty good. Shouldn’t you be getting your tank on and kissing your bearded wife?

    • DoubleDIon

      It actually is a great signing. For e first 4 years it should look really good. Having $6.5 tied to a guy when he’s 38 is a really tough one and will likely hurt. But, it’s honestly a pretty good signing.. He’s a good d man.

  • RedMan

    poor edmonton, always overshadowed by the Flames… they are so desperate t be in the mix, but are beaten by the flames at every turn, regardless of how much luck they have had during the draft season. Gio at slightly more money than Sekera… hahaha

  • DoubleDIon

    For all you that are praising BT remember he signed Engelland. Raymond/Bollig signing also doesn’t look good. How he handles the 3 goalies on 1 ways, the 3 guys mentioned and Smid could make the flames legit contenders or just middle of the road.

    • DoubleDIon

      I had no issue with the Raymond signing when it happened. We didn’t know the young guys would be ready so quickly. The Engelland signing was smelly from the start. I remember thinking 2.9 million was over the full 3 years and still not liking it. I was floored when I saw it was per year. Bollig I wasn’t a fan of either, but I didn’t hate it as much as the Engelland one.