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.

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. 

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.



  • CofRed4Life

    Yahoo!!!! This seems to be Treliving’s model. Do most everything behind the scenes, make people wonder if anything’s even happening, and then BAM! Hit them when they least expect it. Great work BT.

  • SickFloBro

    Great contract for a great player. With Gaudreau and Monahan set to get new deals next summer, the Flames might have to get aggressive to rid themselves of some bad contracts over the coming year.

    • The Fall

      It really feels like BT is setting the stage for manageable contract expectations across the board. Neither of them are going to sign Voracek deals anytime soon.

  • RedMan

    anymore details?? is there a No move/trade clause???

    Gio is elite, but more than that he is also the intangibles master, a locker room ninja,

    name one D-core better than the Flames, and I will tip my hat to you

        • DoubleDIon

          I’d be shocked if Voynov was back this year. I think it’s why they just signed Erhoff. St. Louis is definitely up there. I think we have the best offensive group of defensemen, but there are clubs with better defenders. I can’t think of a club where their 5th highest scoring defenseman finished 40th overall in the league.

          • Parallex

            I dunno… you’d think that given how quickly they’ve attempted to void Richards contract that they’d have done the same to Voynov if they had made up their mind about him.

            Really, if you can sign Erhoff for 1.5M you do it regardless of whether Voynov comes back or not.

          • DoubleDIon

            I’m not saying they don’t want him back. Just seems like they went and got a guy who can slide into the top 4 in his spot. I think the league wants to avoid the NFL gong show of letting abusers back too soon.

          • RedMan

            didn’t the Kings just cancel a contract for a guy stopped at the border with a traffic ticket, Richards or someone?

            if so, surely something this egregious act will warrant a contract cancellation… or did the kings just cancel the contract cause they dont want to pay, and really could care less about these wife beates?

          • mk

            RE: Voynov & Richards
            This is exactly what I can’t wrap my mind around. Drug issues that should be treated via the NHLPA substance abuse program? Void the contract! Physical abuse of a spouse? “The Kings stand with Slava in this time of challenge.” I can’t help but be suspicious about the motives for the difference in approach. Richards was a bad contract in an area of strength for the Kings. Voynov is a decent contract in an area of potential weakness.

            Maybe there is more to it than is known. But it does seem odd.

    • Derzie

      New York Rangers:
      Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Keith Yandle, Dan Girardi.

      Preds:
      Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Ryan Ellis.

      LA Kings:
      Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov, Christian Erhoff, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez.

      Wild:
      Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Mathew Dumba.

      Blues:
      Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Bouwmester, Gunnerson.

      Islanders:
      Boychuck, Leddy, Harmonic, Hickney.

      Chicago: Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Van Reimsdyk, Rundblad.

      Detroit:
      Green, Kronwall, Dekyser, Kindl, Ericsson.

      Tampa Bay:
      Carle, Garrison, Coburn, Stralman, Headman

      And basically the entire back end of the ducks.

      I’m not disputing Calgary has one of the best in the league. But to say there are non better is laughable. You need at least one Norris candidate / winner in your line up to be considered best in the league. I would say at the very least, Chicago, LA, Ducks, St. Louis and New York have better D. Not to mention after you get past the D on some of those teams, you’re looking at Anderson, Quick, Ludqvuist, Crawford, and whoever St Louise has in net. So, Vezina and Norris back ends.

      Even still, it’s an impressive group on good to great contracts.

      • Parallex

        Vezina? IMO The only one of the guys you mentioned that I think are legit Vezina/Elite Goalie level is Ludqvuist.

        The point about the D is true though. Calgary has a very good d-core but it’s not head and shoulders above the rest of the league (man… the league has a lot of steller D right now).

        • DoubleDIon

          Anderson did have some injury but make no mistake, his numbers were insane this last year. Quick and Lundqvuist have both won the Vezina as well as other hardware. I think Quick even won the Heart one year. Crawford, I will give you might not be Vezina worthy, but he’s underrated much like every Detroit goalie has been for the last decade. As for St. Louise. Ya, not great. They did have Halak for a bit who was nominated that year he stood on his head for Montreal, and alsohad an amazing year this year for the Islanders. But ya, their current tandem is not really in the same company as the others.

          • RedMan

            My mistake, was it Brown that won the heart for LA that year? They both look like scruffy homeless people when they get their playoff beards. Also, not the heart, he won the Con Smyth, my mistake. And you’re right he’s never won the Vezina but he’s been as close as second, and in the ballot pretty much for the last five years.

        • piscera.infada

          Also, to your point about there being really good D in the league right now. As I was making this list, I was thinking the exact same thing. There is no one or two completely stacked teams, there’s like 7 or 8. As an Oiler fan, it makes me sad to see this list and think how far our current prospects will have to go in order to enter this conversation.

      • Reidja

        True, I would put NYR and the Blues above the Flames D. Gio is absolutely Norris caliber and remember we have the guy who finished #4 in scoring last year as our 5th defenseman.

        • RedMan

          Again, I can’t really deny the strength of the Flame’s back end, but to say there’s no better core in the league is a bit of an overstatement. It’s not uprising Wideman did so well in scoring as that’s always been his bag, only in Calgary he doesn’t have to do it on the top line.

      • RedMan

        first of all, you need to quit “liking” your own posts,

        second, you need to comment under one name… quit trolling with so many different names

        third, where is it written that the best defense isn’t the best if it hast had a norris winner? (besides, last year was Gio’s Norris, if he wasn’t injured)

        Finally, nice list… where’s the stats or data to back which is better?

        • imthedude63

          Liking your own posts is a STAPLE to internet trolling and I will not change. Not sure about the multiple names thing though. Occasionally another Will pops up on ON but if anything I’m a way bigger troll than him. I would say it’s pretty common sense that a team with the best defenceman in the league would only further qualify that group as the best in the league. It’s not a must have, but it certainly helps the argument.

          That’s fine to say he would have won it, but he didn’t, so he didn’t. Part of being the best is also staying healthy for the entire year. He didn’t so he isn’t. He wasn’t even nominated which tells me while very good, Gio was not in the conversation of Elite.

          As for stats and stuff. Yes, you have me there. I did not spend all day pouring through stats sheets and writing an essay to back up my point. Merely an opinion from someone who watches a lot of hockey, and plays a lot of fantasy so knows how these guys do points wise and plus minus, ect.

          But end of the day, like I said, Calgary has a very good defence, maybe even one of the best in the league, but to say it is the unequivocal absolute best… weeelll?

      • SmellOfVictory

        You’re throwing some weird names out there; Hickey/Kindl/Rundblad/van Reimsdyk, are all bottom pairing quality dmen, and Gunnarson/Carle/Martinez are no better than Dennis Wideman.

        But I agree, the Flames’ defense isn’t the best in the league (certainly not when you include #4-6), but the top 3 guys in the defensive corps are definitely up there with the best in the league. I don’t think it could be definitely argued that there are any top 3 dmen who in the NHL who are better than Gio/Brodie/Hamilton as a group.

        • RedMan

          Well it was said that they have the best core in the league, and even though some the names are bottom pair guys, or up and coming guys, they are still big parts to their team’s success and demonstrates the depth of some of the other cores out there. For example Matt Carle was top pair in Philly, but is second pair in Tampa.

          I respectfully disagree it can be definitively argued Keith, Seabrook, and Hjalmersson are a better top three than in Calgary. As are Doughty, Erhoff, and Muzzin or Voynov. Why, because those guys have won cups and Vezinas and gold medals, and get more collective points, and have better possession numbers, and play more minutes.

          But as you mentioned, weird names, tough to argue who the best D Core difinitively in the league is. I suppose the team who last won the cup because, well, they won the friggin cup.

      • BurningSensation

        New York Rangers: Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Keith Yandle, Dan Girardi.

        – Gio, Brodie, Hamilton, Wideman, Russell is better. Hamilton crushes Yandle.

        Preds: Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Seth Jones, Ryan Ellis.

        – Granted. IMO this set of 4D is the class of the league.

        LA Kings: Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov, Christian Erhoff, Jake Muzzin, Alec Martinez.

        – On paper these guys should be #1. Erhoff is excellent, but very fragile, no way he plays 82 games. And then there is Voynov. On paper I want any D corps that starts with ‘Doughty’ and has this much talent, but in truth I prefer the Flames.

        Wild: Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Mathew Dumba.

        – Uh, no. I like Gio better than Suter, Brodie way better than Brodin (who I think is a stud), and Hamilton destroys Spurgeon.

        Blues: Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk, Bouwmester, Gunnerson.

        – That’s a steep drop to Gunnarsson. Otherwise I would agree, the Blues D should be elite.

        Islanders: Boychuck, Leddy, Harmonic, Hickney.

        – Now you are just being silly.

        Chicago: Keith, Seabrook, Hjalmarsson, Van Reimsdyk, Rundblad.

        – Calgary’s is better. Gio vs Keith is more or less a saw-off (though Keith’s contract is a gift from heaven for Chicago), Seabrook vs Brodie is a slight favourite to Chicago, but Hamilton vs Hjlamarsson is a blow out.

        Detroit: Green, Kronwall, Dekyser, Kindl, Ericsson.

        – Not a chance.

        Tampa Bay: Carle, Garrison, Coburn, Stralman, Headman

        – Hedman is a monster, but after that….Brodie and co. are to a man better.

          • Cfan in Vic

            In this post, you most certainly implied that Gio is injury prone. That’s the only semi-logical point you could have been making.

            Like many have mentioned, a browse down Gio’s stats doesn’t give a proper indication of his injury history.

            Like so many Oilers trolls, you don’t actually follow this team, therefor you don’t really know the details behind the mutterings you make about the Flames. Go figure, an Oilers fan who doesn’t know everything.

        • BurningSensation

          Okay, I take it all back, I suppose Flames fans can’t have a frank discussion about hockey. In no world is Duncan Kieth and Gio a “saw off”. Let’s see, Keith has three stanley cups, he has two Olympic Gold Medals, a Con Smyth and a Norris. Gio has a bunch of flames fans saying if he didn’t get injured he would have won something. Only he did get injured, and didn’t win anything. If Nuge didn’t get injured he would have won the Calder, only he did, and then he didn’t, so it means jack squat.

          In 9 season Giordano has 245 points in 510 games. In ten seasons, Keith has 415 points in 766 games. So .54 points per game for Kieth vs .48 for Gio. By every metric they have in Hockey, Keith is a better defenceman. Seabrook has a gold medal and three stanley cups and has 318 points in his career. In the last 4 season Gio has slightly more points in 137 to Seabrooks 124. So maybe, maybe that’s a “saw off”. I suppose I’ll concede that Hamilton looks better the Hjalmersson, but I won’t call it a blow out by any stretch because Hjalmersson because guess what, he’s got three cups more than Hamilton.

          As for the rest, you’re off your rocker. Yandle has been top five in defensive scoring for like ever. The guy got 52 points last year alone. He is not better, and the Flames do not have a better defensive core than New York or LA or St. Louis or Chicago. But thanks for the wacky opinions based on no facts.

          • BurningSensation

            Lets talk facts then. Compare the Corgis of Keith, Seabrook, etc, with Gio and Brodie. I’ll save you the time, ALL advanced metrics have the last two seasons of Brodano as being markedly better than Keith and Seabrook.

            Fact, nobody has driven play better against tougher comp than those two guys. Period.

            As for Yandle, you expose your ignorance, he’s just a younger version of Wideman, offensively he’s a first unit PP. guy but defensively he’s heavily sheltered in zone starts and faces creampuff competition.

            In other words your response is garbage.

  • RedMan

    Huzzah!

    But look at this sentence and tell me you don’t think you might want to re-write it:

    “Though Giordano has mostly been extraordinarily durable in his career, he hasn’t played a full 82 game season since the 2010-11 campaign.”

    A player who hasn’t played a full 82 (or frankly that close, missed 10+ in all of the full seasons since 2010-11) is not “extraordinarily durable”. I would suggest he has been very “ordinarily durable”.

  • mk

    To be honest, I thought that was a typo when I first read it. I assumed it was 5 years to $40.5M ($8.1M per). Good cap hit, more years than ideal, but a good deal to shift the pain to later on. It will be harder to deal with in 5+ years, but hopefully we’ll have had a nice competing window in that time.

  • Burnward

    Gotta love it! Anyone know who is the Flames lead negotiator for contracts? Treliving? Burke? One of the AGMs? A combination? My hunch is that Burke has some influence with this, but whoever it is, they’re doing an amazing job.

  • Captain Ron

    This is excellent news!!! With the addition of Hamilton I can’t wait to see this group of defense play. Shaping up to be one of the best groups we have ever had on “D”

  • 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

  • Bananaberg

    Great deal for the heart of the team. Sets a good upper limit number for some future contract conversations…

    Let’s also consider some math for those worried about cap issues next year and beyond:

    If BT felt the opportunity was there to add another dman, he could buyout/shed the following guys after next season (they have one year remaining):

    Raymond
    Jones (expires)
    Bollig
    Smid (LTIR candidate?)
    Engelland

    Now let’s say that Monahan and Johnny sign identical contracts that aren’t traditional bridge deals. Let’s say those contracts are $6mm.

    That would leave us with about $7mm to resign Jooris, Byron, and another dman (*conservatively assuming the cap ceiling stays flat!)

    Gio took a very fair price to give BT flexibility to build a hell of team. We all agree here that there are moves to be made on the “asset management” front over the next year or two, but any genuine concern that BT won’t manage through it like a boss is unfounded.

    • Bananaberg

      *Forgot to mention: my model included Hudler at $6mm as well!

      (that’s for another conversation, but I’d love to keep him for another 4 years)

      So the actual cap space number (without any inflation increase to the ceiling) could be somewhere around $13mm.

      We are in pretty good shape. Keep developing our prospects from within to fill out the bottom 6 and let this team gel.

      Who knows, with this defensive core, Ramo could start to look like #34 from a few years back.

    • SickFloBro

      I’m not so much “concerned” as I am interested.

      One would think the Flames would let David Jones walk after this season, but wouldn’t we want to extend Hudler? Might have to give the guy a raise, too. Personally, I’d find way to trade Colborne and Byron if I could.

      And Kris Russell? Wouldn’t we want him back?

      And goaltending? Sure, Anaheim has had success rolling with two young guys, but I’d think a prudent move would be to extend one of Hiller/Ramo for another couple of years with Ortio as a backup (who also needs to be signed at the end of this year).

      I know BT and his team have models upon models upon models. It’ll be fun to see how things shake out.

      • Parallex

        Kris Russell is highly overrated. I’m fine with him on the ticket we have him on now but if he wants more next time out then I’m equally fine with cutting bait on him.

        • piscera.infada

          I’m completely with you–I thought Russell was a sure fire resign, but then they traded for Hamilton. I mean, I think you could easily trade or let Russell walk, keep Wideman the final year and hope one of, and then another of the young guys can fill their roles.

      • SmellOfVictory

        Gotta let the young guys play sometime. Wotherspoon is turning 23 after next season, Morrison will be turning 24, and Nakladal may be NHL quality as well; lots of guys who are likely ready to take Russell’s spot after this season.

        Hudler would be nice to keep, but I wouldn’t want the Flames throwing down big money for him.

        • SickFloBro

          Totally agree. For some reason I have it in my head that our organizational depth at D is worse than it is. Training camp battles will be interesting this year for sure.

          Agree about Hudler too. A raise somewhere south of 650k per year is what I was thinking.

  • Reidja

    Wow. That is a stellar deal! I expected the term but the annual average is lower than most people expected I think.

    The Flames have a fantastic top 3 signed for the foreseeable future at a total hit under $17.5MM. Having our defense this solid for a number of years, taking up less than 25% of our cap space, is fantastic salary management.