Ahead of tomorrow’s trade deadline, the Toronto Maple Leafs have reportedly traded for the Seattle Kraken’s veteran defenceman Mark Giordano.
Sportsnet’s Ryan Leslie was the first to report the trade, and in exchange for the 38-year-old left-shot defenceman, along with depth forward Colin Blackwell, the Leafs gave up two second round picks in 2022 and 2023 along with a third round pick in 2024.
Giordano, who is understandably past his prime, still gives the Leafs an immediate upgrade along the blueline and brings with him over 1000 regular season games-worth of experience in the NHL, with almost his entire career spent with the Flames, signing with the organisation originally in 2004 after going undrafted.
The Toronto native returns home after 15-and-a-half-years of consistency in the big leagues, with his best season coming in 2018/19 when he was named to his first All-Star Game and even landed the coveted Norris Trophy at the end of the year as the best defenceman in the league after registering 74 points (17 goals, 57 assists) in 78 games.
The very next season saw Giordano claim the Mark Messier Leadership Award for his leadership on the ice – helping guide the Flames through the qualifying round of the 2020 playoffs before seeing the team fall to eventual Stanley Cup Finalists the Dallas Stars.
Giordano found himself claimed by the Kraken during the expansion draft last year, where he was almost immediately named as the first captain in team history – yet another sign of his strong leadership characteristics that should see him fit in well with the current Leafs defensive corps.
Among those is T.J. Brodie, who spent ten years playing alongside Giordano in Calgary and will be an instant chemistry fit with the veteran blueliner, who played his best hockey alongside the current Leaf.
Giordano is clearly a ‘win-now’ type of move for the Toronto Maple Leafs, as the veteran is in the final year of a contract that held a $6.75 million cap hit before the trade, with the Kraken retaining 50% of the deal to allow the Leafs to fit him under the cap.
With the NHL trade deadline coming Monday afternoon, there is still room for the Leafs to make more moves, but this one addresses an obvious need that should go hand in hand with improved goaltender down the stretch.