Defenseman Mark Giordano will soon officially be joining the Kraken but his stay there may not be very long. Mollie Walker of the New York Post reports that the Rangers appear to be zeroing in on trying to acquire the blueliner from Seattle.
The 37-year-old had been a part of Calgary’s organization for his entire career spanning parts of 15 NHL seasons before his reported selection today and was a mainstay on their top pairing for a large amount of that time. Back in 2018-19, he had a dominant season offensively which helped lead him to the Norris Trophy but his production has tapered off since then; this past season, he had just 26 points in 56 games which was his lowest output since the lockout-shortened 2012-13 campaign. However, he still logged nearly 23 minutes of ice time while being a steadying defensive presence for the Flames.
It’s that element that likely endears him to Rangers GM Chris Drury. While Jacob Trouba is a strong part of their back end, he’s about the only impact veteran they have with several of their blueliners being 23 or younger. Giordano is someone that would fit in quite well with either Trouba or Norris winner Adam Fox as the steadying veteran that allows his partner to jump into the attack.
The other element that is appealing is his contract; Giordano has one year left on his deal with a $6.75MM price tag and Walker suggests that Seattle would be willing to retain on it to facilitate a trade. With New York having several players up for new deals next summer (including Fox, Vitali Kravtsov, and Kaapo Kakko as RFAs plus Mika Zibanejad and Ryan Strome as UFAs), having someone on an expiring contract would certainly help in terms of keeping some spending flexibility.
As for what Seattle might want for their blueliner, Walker reports that Strome may very well be a target for the Kraken. Their reported roster doesn’t exactly feature much in the way of impact talent down the middle and Strome would be able to step in and play an impact role right away. He would certainly be able to bolster their attack while potentially setting himself up nicely for his first trip to the open market a year from now. After having a lot of success with Artemi Panarin with the Rangers, Strome showing that he can still produce away from Panarin would also bolster his case for a big contract in free agency.
If the two sides aren’t able to make a move right away, expect Giordano to garner considerable interest around the league as there are plenty of teams that could benefit from a veteran blueliner of his caliber for next season. Now that he’s heading for an expansion team, it’s likely there will be lots of trade speculation until he finds himself on the move again.