In recent weeks, the Seattle Kraken made the decision that they would be trading Mark Giordano. He and Ron Francis, Kraken general manager, sat down and discussed the future and came to the conclusion that the team would trade its first captain, thinking of the future of the franchise above all else. Emily Kaplan of ESPN reports that though Giordano has a 10-team no-trade clause, he “has not even bothered giving it” to Francis and the Kraken front office, as he expects to go to a contender.
Kaplan lists the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues, and Carolina Hurricanes among those who have shown the most interest.
Giordano, 38, was a Norris Trophy winner in 2018-19, and still is producing at a high level for the Kraken. With 23 points in 50 games he is their highest-scoring defenseman, and with more than 21 minutes of ice time a night, he plays more than everyone except Adam Larsson. Any acquiring team wouldn’t likely be asking him to do as much, which could perhaps improve his performance even further for a short postseason run.
The Rangers have been linked to basically every player on the market this year as they try to parlay an incredible season by Igor Shesterkin into true contender status. With the relative youth of their blueline–Adam Fox, Ryan Lindgren, K’Andre Miller, Braden Schneider, Libor Hajek, Nils Lundkvist, and Zac Jones are all 24-and-under–Giordano would offer something that they don’t have in spades: experience.
In Toronto, the Maple Leafs already have Giordano’s old partner in T.J. Brodie, the player who helped him to that Norris season a few years ago. With Jake Muzzin’s future up in the air after suffering multiple concussions, a Giordano-Brodie pairing could actually be considered the top unit, freeing Morgan Rielly to play in more offensive situations.
For Florida, adding one more defenseman could put them over the top as they’re already one of the deepest teams in the league at every position. With Aaron Ekblad, MacKenzie Weegar, and Gustav Forsling already in place, Giordano would likely be able to feast on more manageable minutes and matchups. The same could be said about Carolina, though Kaplan notes Francis may be loath to help his old club.
In St. Louis, the loss of Scott Perunovich and the disappointing play of Marco Scandella has opened up a potential spot on the left side to add a defenseman. Head coach Craig Berube was almost even a teammate of Giordano’s decades ago, playing two final seasons in Calgary just a year before the undrafted defenseman joined the organization. With a style predicated on quick puck movement and physicality, the veteran Giordano could actually seem like a perfect fit for the Central Division club.