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.

  • Parallex

    This is a fair deal. He takes less then he should now but gets more then he should later.

    Now… let’s see some of the fat (Engelland, Smid, Raymond etc. etc.) trimmed.

      • SickFloBro

        There are new rules about “burying contracts” in the AHL now, right? Like, only a portion of the AAV comes off the books? I could be totally wrong on that though.

        Can anyone clarify?

    • 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.

  • Parallex

    I’m not saying Gio is Nik Lidstrom. But I believe he’s going to age a lot more like Lidstrom than, say, Zdeno Chara (washed up at 36). I think there’s a real good chance he’s still worth 6.75 mil at 39 – a good chance there’s not a bad year on this contract.

  • DoubleDIon

    greatest thing here is: the bar has been set for anyone going forward negotiating contracts… “Gio is at 6.7; you think you’re better?!”

    Fantastic job by Gio & management on this! A selfless captain left money on the table so the team won’t be as handcuffed down the road

  • 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.

  • TheRealPoc

    I know plenty of us had apprehension over what this extension would eventually look like, but I don’t think there were many of us who really wanted Gio to leave. Yes, his health & age are worrisome, but at least this feels like we’re still paying for some prime seasons of elite production yet to come; almost certainly not all six, but hopefully three, maybe even four. And make no mistake, when healthy, he’s been Norris-calibre. Under $7M/yr is a snap call.

    At the end of the day, I just don’t think you can let a guy like Giordano walk, especially considering the window we’re about to begin. Hamilton, Frolik & Bennett have all contributed to accelerating the ETA to contention and if that’s the true endgame, Gio had to remain in the fold. To think the Flames now have Giordano/Brodie/Hamilton locked up through 2020, at a combined price of a shade over $17M/yr, is almost surreal.

    If there’s ever been a more positive offseason for this franchise, I sure as hell can’t remember it. Kudos to Treliving, who’s absolutely tearing the cover off the ball right now as it flies over the fence.

  • Burnward

    Re: future cap management

    May not be the best asset management but I bet any one of Raymond, Engellend or Stajan gets claimed on waivers if worse comes to worse.

    BT gets it. And this team is very easy to manage.

    Good times boys. Good times.

    • Derzie

      Id be VERY surprised if Stajan was put on waivers. INCREDIBLY surprised. He is lauded as a heart player of this team. I think Staj is loved by his teammates and coaches. I dont think they would put him through waivers. A trade maybe. They are always saying they want good humans as well as hockey players….

  • Big Ell

    Wow, I wanted him dealt when I thought he was getting big money on a long term. This seems pretty reasonable. I have no problem with him making big money at 38-39, he will have earned it with 2 reasonable contracts with the Flames.

    • Bob Cobb

      You need to stop drinking water straight from the Oldman River! No way the Flames win 2 cups in the 6 years of the contract when they have won 1 in there entire history.

    • DoubleDIon

      His dose of reality is only partial reality. Detroit has one legitimate top 4 defenseman on their roster and he has them on the list of good bluelines. After the top 3 in Chicago we could ice a better bottom 3 out of our AHL affiliate. We have a very solid top 5 right now.

      • RedMan

        Fair point. I think everyone’s mileage is gonna vary. But, as it usually goes with Detroit players, they are underrated as they all kind of fly under the radar. Kronwall, is very good. Green had some injury years but I think he proved last year he is still elite. And he’s still young enough to be elite. As for the other names, they are big up and comers easily comparable to Brodie and Hamilton. But again, everyone’s mileage will vary.

      • piscera.infada

        I too think the whole “best D in the league” argument is bunk. Make no mistake, they’re good. Very good. I would say the Rangers, the Preds, and Anaheim are probably the three best d-cores in the league all things considered. The scary thing is that the Preds and Anaheim have a lot of room for growth with great, young, top-4 options (and more on the way).

        I’ll reiterate again though, that there are very few bluelines I would take over the Flames right now, and those are just me trying to be unbiased. In a few years (with the addition of some young defensemen from our prospect system–the Hickey’s, Kylington’s, Andersson’s, god willing…), we could very well be looking at the best D core in the game.

        • imthedude63

          Its is great to be fired up about Flames hockey again. I feel Gio has shown the type of guy and leader he truly is by signing this deal. As for the best D in the league we are going to have to sit back and see how our “top D” plays out. The other “best D in the league” teams are NHL game proven. I am stoked to watch Gio and his D mates earn their way to “best D in the league”

  • piscera.infada

    This is a great contract. I had always thought I would be okay if he got about $8m for the first 3 year(a slight overpay for the last 3 years of his current salary which was a great deal for the flames) and then for any years after the three an average decrease in contract hit of somewhere between 1/4 million to a 1/2 million which is what this works out to.

    Now get Ferland signed and move some of the assets for a 2nd line winger to play with Bennett and Frolik and we can start the season.

    • PrairieStew

      I’m with you on the second line winger. I’ve mentioned it a couple of times over the summer. A real solid veteran with Bennett and Frolik could make the Flames very difficult to defend. Colborne/Raymond not the answer now or in to the future as a top 6 winger.

      In additon to the obvious trade targets of Colborne, Raymond, Bollig and even Stajan; the Flames have alot of younger assets to dangle in a trade, group them in twos and give team choice of one or the other eg Jooris or Shore; Sieloff or Wotherspoon, Ortio or Gilles; Poirer or Klimchuk, Morisson or Hickey, Culkin or Kulak, Byron or Agostino

      • Derzie

        Don’t agree on the winger, and certainly not dangling at least half the guys you mentioned. Unless you are getting an Allstar or perennial top scorer that’s crazy.

        • PrairieStew

          It would have to be someone very good, but Raymond, Colborne and Ferland aren’t the answer as elite second liners.. Jeff Skinner is young, but Hartnell or Foligno from Columbus would be more reliable. I agree that it is tough to consider trading some of those guys, but realistically they are not all going to play. How many 4th line options and 3rd pair D do you need? Those roles don’t have to be filled with prospects. Going in to this season, the Flames are 3 significant players better than the team that won a playoff round, and adding that second line winger would make it 4 players better and the top 9 pretty darn good.

          As an example I would trade Culkin, Wotherspoon, Agostino and Raymond for Okposo, JVR or those other guys I mentioned.

          • Peplinski's Thunderbird

            Skinner is guy I think would really change things upfront but what would be the price? I have thought that Wideman,Raymond and one of the higher end prospects might be able to get it done. I am unsure about his injury status. Ferland may be the guy. I was also wondering how Granlund might look as the lW with Bennett and Frolik.

          • RedMan

            different things I’ve read suggest Granlund may have a lot of offensive upside. can he quietly show up as the 2ND line left wing?? possible.

            Bouma’s earning the pay check for the position, and Ferlands past scoring touch suggests he may have offensive upside.. exciting times

          • RedMan

            Granlund is a natural goalscorer, but his overall game isn’t NHL level yet (or it wasn’t last year anyway). If he were to make that jump though, his shot would be a great asset on Bennett’s wing.

          • Danomitee

            Skinner would be interesting, but I don’t know what the Flames have that the Hurricanes want (other than prospects of course). No doubt they’d want Klimchuk or Poirier, but I don’t think they’d have much interest in Wideman or Raymond. But of course, the Flames have to move salary.

          • Train#97

            From what I recall Skinner has had multiple concussions already and hasn’t been the same player as his first year. I don’t think he’s worth the risk.

            Although I’m onboard with a quality for quantity trade, Ferland is off-limits for me as he has proven his offensive chops in Junior and adds an element essential to playoffs success that no one else brings.

            Also I’m not down on a 4-1 trade, 2-1 or at best 3-1 depending on the players. Perhaps Wideman, Raymond and say, Granlund might work for a top-level player… But even that sounds too much for me.

            Anyways there is no need to rush into something. I firmly believe Ferland can be that guy, and if not Klimchuck, or Hudler with Poirier taking the RW spot.

          • The GREAT Walter White

            From what I recall Skinner has had multiple concussions already and hasn’t been the same player as his first year. I don’t think he’s worth the risk.

            He scored 30+ goals as recently as two years ago. Last year he was very off, no question, but he’s only once failed to hit a 70 game pace in a season (he played 42 of 48 in the lockout year).

            My guess would be he was heavily sheltered in his first year and has been facing tougher comp since.

  • PrairieStew

    Not sure how Treliving keeps pulling these deals off, but hats off to him. Another fantastic deal.

    Yes, Gio won’t be the same player for the last couple of years of his contract as he is now, but the addition of Hamilton means he can be paced in terms of ice time now and eventually drop to the 2nd pairing. Hopefully that helps on the injury front as well as the overall mileage.

    For a guy who is the heart and soul of the team and embodies everything the team aspires to be, overall, this is a very acceptable deal. Very glad the whole 9M/8 years things was moved away from because Gio is certainly being well rewarded here as well.

    Great day for Flames fans!

  • Derzie

    Best to not ruin a glorious day by claiming ‘best D’. We now have a very good D that can compete with anyone and our core D is locked for the battle. Who is best is decided every June. Stats or no stats.

  • everton fc

    Wonder when BT will get Ferland inked?

    As for Gio, the no-trade clause seems to prove he really likes living here, doesn’t want to leave, and the terms prove he wants to not only win, but put the stamp on his captaincy here as well. I respect every bit of that.

    And we need to keep Russell. He’s a Flame. An Albertan. One of us.

    • Peplinski's Thunderbird

      I truly think Hartley really likes Russell’s game & will pair him with Hamilton. & I really believe he is going to have such a good year coming up, we are going to be scrambling to getting him inked to a good new contract, which would be a great problem to have based on BT’s track record. I wonder if this extension of Gio opens the door to a trade with Wideman involved & one of our excess forwards, Raymond cough…..

  • KACaribou

    Thank you Gio for not being the greedy SOB we all feared you had become when news of a possible $9 – $10 million demand first hit.

    Thank you for being the team guy we had all hoped you really were. Your contract will enable the Flames to do so much more and to be so much better because we can afford to have you on the team!

    You proved to be exactly the fine man we all believed you to be!

  • Danomitee

    I don’t know why everyone was getting bent out of shape about Gios reps asking for 9mil for 8 years. They made a case that he would deserve that much based on other dmen who are his calibre and make that price. It would be pretty poor representation if they just showed up and said Gio wants 7 million at ohhh 3 years. That makes it a lot easier for Treliving to start at say 4 and meet in the middle. All in all great deal for both sides.

  • RedMan

    Trading picks for Hamilton – coup

    Snatching up Frolik from FA – coup

    Getting Gio to sign this deal – coup

    Treliving must have had his initial GM training in CIA black ops overthrowing dictators and free states alike!

  • DestroDertell

    This debate about whether calgary has the best defensive group in the league is interesting. Some of my thoughts:

    • Ranger’s defensive group is hilariously overrated. McDonagh and Yandle are damn good, Boyle and Staal are both meh. Girardi on the first pair? LMAO.
    • I don’t think the bottom pairing defensemen are worthy of note, extreme cases of inferiority (Engelland) or superiority (Schlemko) aside. They’re much easier to find and replace for peanuts.
    • On that note, Flames have the best top 3 in the league but there’s a big hole at the #4 spot right now. The team with the best top 4 has to be either TB or LA with the Erhroff addition.
    • Aside from Ekbald and JVR, Weber is the most overrated player in the league.
    • DestroDertell

      Aside from Ekbald and JVR, Weber is the most overrated player in the league.

      Two words: Ryan Suter.

      And Ekblad is(was) 18. I mean, really. He was a full time NHLer–as a defenseman–before he turned 19. Even Hamilton didn’t manage that.

      • DestroDertell

        I forgot about Ryan Suter. And I’m a huge believer that Campbell made Ekbald’s season. He might be overpaid and aging but he was still a damn good defenseman and it showed.

  • prendrefeu

    I hate Oilers fans more than I dislike their team. Is that even possible?
    Geez they’re annoying little brats.

    Go to the mall or make something of your lives, seriously.
    Good luck to your team when the season starts, and even then, NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR STUPID TROLLING ON THE NEWS OF OTHER TEAMS.

    Your posts are just pathetic and ruin the entire nations network. Just stick to your own site, your own news, and enjoy your own team. If there is a cross-post across the nations which is NOT about your team, such as this one, then read it and move on.

    Or, better yet, read the title and realize it isn’t about your team and, once again, MOVE ON.

    Seriously, grow up you pathetic man-children. You’re making your entire city look bad.

      • DestroDertell

        He played three full seasons in the last six years. Worth noting last year’s injury was a complete fluke; not exactly material for the “injury prone” narrative.

        • Train#97

          Get your facts straight! The last 4 years he averaged 58 games played 5 and 6 years ago he played 82. He has not played 3 – 82 game seasons and the 2 years before that he played 58 and 48 games.
          He is a very good player but he has had injury problems his whole career.
          Not trolling , just stating the facts, so don’t get so defensive!! No big deal but he ain’t no iron man!!

          • Train#97

            Uh ya I did factor that 48 game season . He has had a crapload of missed games if you want to ignore it go ahead but it’s reality!!
            Giordano has played 509 /720 possible games. That’s an average of 30% games missed due to injury in his career.

          • Train#97

            Walter Walter Walter 61+ 47+64+61= 233 you following Walter? Now divide 233 by 4 still with me Walter? Ok divide and you get 58 . Wow Walter. There you go son!! Average of 58 games

          • The GREAT Walter White

            The last 6 years he has played 397 out of 458 possible games.

            Assuming all the missed games were due to injury; he played 87% of the games without being injured.

            Let’s look at the Oilers “core” shall we…


          • Train#97

            Walter you forgot the 3 seasons before that. You just can’t omit the years you want. Done playing your game Walter. Don’t expect another comment so you’ll have to find another to troll.

          • The GREAT Walter White

            Did he not play 82 games 8 years ago because he was injured ?
            Or did he not make the lineup those nights ?

            He was a late bloomer. The Flames don’t just put their first overall picks in the NHL from the start you know…(BTW Gio was not drafted….).

            What were his injuries? broken foot from blocking a shot ?
            (Oilers would never get an injury like that…)
            Super dirty can opener?

            He is Not injury prone. Just some bad luck from playing hard the last couple of years.


          • piscera.infada

            As much as it pains me to agree with WW, he’s right in this instance. Giordano was more of a fringe player coming into the ’08-’09 season. Any seasons before that he was yo-yo’d between the AHL and NHL–he didn’t “miss those games due to injury”. In fact, he played in the KHL the year before, because he thought he had paid his dues in AHL to warrant an NHL job–many in Calgary thought his time as a Flame was over.

            While signing an ever aging player to a 6 year contract is, in fact, a concern because of increased injury risk, I too feel the narrative about Giordano being “injury prone” is way overblown. As WW said, of the four year period everyone points to, one was lockout shortened, one he missed significant time breaking a bone in his ankle blocking a shot (which could happen to anyone at any given moment, and is not a recurring injury), and the other was a strange can opener play where a stick was pinned between his arm and body creating a significant amount of torque on his biceps tendon (again, flukey, however that may have weakened the tendon, I don’t know).

            However, it’s not like he’s had three concussions in four years, or two torn ACL’s in four years.

          • piscera.infada

            All I can find is “lower body injury” and I don’t remember it. I’m willing to concede the fact that he was injured for three of the last four years, that’s fact, there’s no disputing it.

            Making the argument that a broken ankle off a shot block, or a freak injury like the one this last season, is being “prone to injury”, is akin to me saying “McDavid has weak hands, and is thusly prone to devastating hand injuries” simply because he missed a punch and shattered his hand on the glass in one game. Disregarding the nature of injuries in these cases, quite literally belies the idea of being ‘prone’ to injury.

            I’m also willing to concede that I am, in fact somewhat worried about his body deteriorating over the remaining 7 years he’s a Flame. I think most Flames’ fans would tell you that’s reasonable. However, I prefer having Gio on the current iteration of the Flames much more than not having Gio, and I also understand that if Gio made it to UFA status next year he’d be offered a contract that in all likelihood would dwarf the one he just signed. Sometimes you have to take on risk with players, and as much I would have loved the same dollar value for four years, that was never going to happen.

          • piscera.infada

            In fact, he played in the KHL the year before…

            *RSL. The KHL didn’t exist yet.

            All I can find is “lower body injury” and I don’t remember it.

            For some reason I remember it being a hip flexor or something.

          • MontanaMan

            Please go back to ON and start a thread on the Oilers solid defensive core that includes castaways, pylons and under achieving youngsters. The Flames defence is stellar and one of the best in the league. Meanwhile in Edmonton, the city is rejoicing over another forward while their defensive game remains one of the worst in the league.

          • BurningSensation

            Train p!ss off. What is your point that you seem to want to troll on a Flames site? Gio is injury prone & Flames will regret this stupid signing? Why don’t you just come out & say what you mean & get lost. Gio is an awesome player when he plays. I guess if you disagree that he isn’t because he rarely plays a full season, it would be something like Taylor Hall who many Oil faithful feel he is the best winger in the NHL. But geez, he’s way younger & in his young career he’s played 65games, 61 games, **45games(lockout), 75 games & 53 games. Seems to me Oilers have invested 6.0 mill per year on an injury prone player too. I guess that means he isn’t very good because he’s reckless & isn’t very durable.

            Every thread you seem to hijack & I see nothing but your bantering with several regulars here. Go away now, I think I understand that your opinion is that Gio is not very durable. I get it. Neither is Hall but they are big pieces of our respective teams & we Flames fans are thrilled to have him signed for another 6 years.

          • Train#97

            Never once did I say he was injury prone or he wasn’t worth the contract,so quit coming up with your own conclusions. Find one instance where I called him a loser or tool or mcsuck and luck or anything derogatory!!!!

          • Captain Ron

            You tell em buddy!!!

            Hate coming here to continually see a bunch of useless clutter from fans of another team. Especially the cowards who don’t have the balls to sign in under a registered user name. News flash for you we don’t care what you think.

            Lets drop the puck in October and see where we all are by the end of November or December. Then lets have a chat. Pretty sure I know who is ahead of who at that point.

  • RKD

    This is the best news I’ve heard all week and probably all summer. Gio’s camp was asking for $72 million dollars over 8 years, even though you don’t get what you ask for that’s still well below even what I thought he would end up with. Gio is a true captain and leader to take such a massive hometown discount for a Norris calibre d-man is unheard of. I’m really not worried about Gio making that type of dough, worst case scenario they can just keep sliding him down the pecking order. However, I don’t see that anytime soon unless Hamilton becomes better than Brodie and Gio. Great to see Gio really believing in Treliving’s master plan. Mark must believe we could be Stanley Cup champions in the not too distant future. Wideman comes off the book in two years or sooner if we trade him. There should still be plenty of money to dole out to guys like Gaudreau, Monahan and Bennett in the coming years.