Mark Giordano got the long-term contract he and the Calgary Flames were seeking. But there was something missing.
“In my opinion, if he didn’t unfortunately go down with an injury, he’s sitting here with a Norris Trophy,” Flames general manager Brad Treliving said Tuesday after Giordano signed a six-year contract extension reportedly worth $40.5 million, an average annual value of $6.75 million.
Giordano, the Flames captain, was leading NHL defensemen with 48 points (11 goals, 37 assists) when he sustained a torn biceps tendon Feb. 25 in a game against the New Jersey Devils. He did not play again.
After surgery, Giordano said he would be ready for training camp in September.
“I’m looking forward to getting into an exhibition game,” Giordano told the Calgary Sun. “Hopefully, I’ll get into a nice home game with the feeling of the crowd and all that. It’ll be cool.
“I want to get my timing and that feeling you miss because I haven’t had that experience in quite a while.”
Giordano has been Flames captain since 2013 and has played his entire NHL career with Calgary. He has 66 goals, 179 assists and 466 penalty minutes in 510 regular-season games.
“We know what he can do on the ice,” Treliving told the Flames website. “For those who are around our team, we know what he does the other 22 hours a day. He’s a leader in every sense of this organization.
“It’s a good feeling for us knowing that we’ve got him signed long-term. Moving forward, he can continue to do what he does, and that is lead this team.”
Giordano turns 32 on Oct. 3 and is entering the final season of a five-year contract that carries a $4.02 million salary-cap charge, according to war-on-ice.com.
“People want to say I left money [by not] going into free agency, but the term the team gave me, six years, is really good,” Giordano said. “I will be 33 when the contract starts and I looked at that.
“And I also look at it and know we have a lot of good up-and-coming players in the coming years, and our organization has to make sure it can take care of that also.”
Giordano is part of a strong group of defensemen that includes TJ Brodie, Kris Russell, Dennis Widemanand newcomer Dougie Hamilton. Giordano, Brodie and Hamilton are each signed through at least the 2019-20 season.
“We like what it is on paper, but we all know what paper means; not a whole lot once you get going,” Treliving said. “It will be a work in progress. Adding Dougie to the mix, he’s going to have to find his way. The coaches will figure out how that is going to shape up, but I like the versatility. We’ve got lefties, we’ve got righties, people that can play both sides of special teams, there’s depth.”
Giordano, who played 61 games last season, finished sixth in voting for the Norris Trophy, which was won by Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators.
The Flames qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2009 and defeated theVancouver Canucks in the Western Conference First Round before losing to the Anaheim Ducks.
Top-line forwards Johnny Gaudreau, Jiri Hudler and Sean Monahan each can become a free agent after this season (Gaudreau and Monahan will be restricted).
“[Mark] obviously wanted to make sure that him and his family were looked after, but he really took a leadership role in looking after the Flames family,” Treliving said. “… The object is to win. … You can’t just have one player or two players. You need a whole team, and knowing what’s in front of us, we’ve still got a young developing team, and at some point, everybody wants to be taken care of, and we’ve got to have the ability to do that, and Mark fully understood that.”