Flames sign Mark Giordano to contract extension

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Last night, the Calgary Flames announced that they have signed defenceman Mark Giordano to a contract extension through the 2015-2016 season. As per club guidelines, the financial details of the deal were not announced, but Flames Assistant General Manager had this to say:

“To sign a player like this before the July 1 deadline for free agency was a top priority. And it has been identified as a top priority some time ago. It’s a good day for the organization.”

Of course, the money aspect of this signing has a huge impact on what we think of it. We all want Gio to stay with the Flames, but what are we willing to pay for him? Thankfully, the good people at capgeek.com indicate that the deal is worth $4.02M per year, for a total of just over $20 million. These numbers are not yet verified, but they do indicate that the Flames believe that Gio is worth much more than the $$891,667 plus bonuses he has been making for the last couple seasons.

(Update: Oct 30, 4:45 pm):
Pierre Lebrun has reported this year by year salary breakdown of Giordano’s $20.1-million contract on Twitter:
2011-12: $4.6 M
2012-13: $3.5 M
2013-14: $4 M
2014-15: $4 M
2015-16: $4 M

At $4 million per season, I don’t think that this is a steal of a deal for the Flames. It puts him exactly on par with Robyn Regehr, and ahead of Steve Staios ($2.7M/season) and Ian White ($2.99M/season). In fact, this deal would make him the 36th highest paid D-man in the league.

I think that Giordano is a hell of a player, but I don’t think that he’s worth $4M per season. Gio’s strength is not his goal-scoring ability (he had 11 goals and 19 assists last season), it is his ability to play responsibly and to not give up goals. His +/- of +17 last season is an indication of this. I would be happy if the Flames paid him $2-3M per season, and left a bit more for some goal-scoring forwards. I suppose that there isn’t much choice now though. Gio has proved that he belongs in the NHL and he’s been a solid member of the Flames for the last few seasons. If his contract truly is in the $4M range, we’ll have to find some young, cheap players to fill in the 3rd and 4th lines to pay for some other forwards that can put the puck in the net.

What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below and let me know.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.


  • OldeBuffalo

    Pierre Lebrun is a Center-ofthe-Universe repoter who’s still choking on the obscene salary his Maple Laughs paid to Dion (what’s his name) and is being a little cautious.

    He’s probably never seen Giiodano play so he’s not a very good person to judge whether this contract is too much or not (I thik it’s a bargain).

    Personally I’m delighted to see Mark get a contract that I consider very reasonable.

    I’d take a hard working, very grounded Giordano long before I’d take an air headed, arrogant, poor team-player like Dion what’s his name any day.

    • http://redmileblog.com Greg @ Red Mile Blog

      I’d take Gio over Dion any day too, but I’m not sure that they should be paying $4+ million to defencemen when forwards like Bourque only make $3M. I think that Bourque’s salary is very reasonable, but when you compare Giordano’s, it looks small. The Flames already have one of the biggest payrolls in the league, and every time they sign a D-man to a multi-million-dollar contract, they close the gap on what they are capable of doing with their offence. It’s evident they’re not getting many high first round picks anytime soon, so they’re going to have to continue to play the trade game, and that’s not cheap.

      • OldeBufflao

        Actually Borkie gets $4 million per year with the exception of his second last year when he only gets $3 million and he’s under contract until 2014. During his second last year they’ll either re-sign him or trade him. I would hope they’d re-sign him if he keeps playing the same way. Good defencemen are much harder to develop than 2nd, 3rd, and 4th line forwards, so that’s probably why Giordano is getting paid more than Borkie.

        Last year the Flames were 29th in scoring so they needed to address that problem. This year they’re one of the highest scoring teams in the league, so it looks like they’ve found the combination to that problem without having to worry about the salary cap. Unfortunately it looks like Daymond Langkow’s ($4.5 M) injury isn’t responding and he may not return.

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