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.