4:20pm CT: The return for Giordano and Blackwell has been revealed. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes was first to report that the Maple Leafs are sending two second-round picks and a third-round pick to the Kraken for the duo. Seattle is also retaining 50% of Giordano’s $6.75MM cap hit. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun clarified that it is a 2022 second-rounder, 2023 second-rounder, and 2024 third-rounder, all Toronto’s own. Both teams have now confirmed the deal.
Given the market set by the Josh Manson, Ben Chiarot, and Hampus Lindholm trades, the relative affordability of this deal is impressive work by Toronto GM Kyle Dubas. Giordano and Blackwell may not be more than rentals for the Leafs, but fill important gaps in the lineup for a team desperate for a deep postseason run. Meanwhile, neither player was likely to re-sign with the Kraken, who now possess seven second-round picks and five third-round picks over the next three drafts.
3:39pm CT: Giordano will not be making the trek to Toronto alone. ESPN’s Kevin Weekes reports that forward Colin Blackwell is also headed to the Maple Leafs in the deal. The return is still unclear as Toronto works through the salary cap implications, but they will be adding a valuable two-way depth forward in Blackwell, checking off another box on their deadline wish list. Blackwell has 17 points in 39 games for Seattle this season, making the most of his time since returning from injury while still flying under the radar as an underrated acquisition for Toronto.
2:05pm CT: After clearing out some additional cap space (or at least starting the process) by waiving Petr Mrazek, the Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired one of the top rental options on the market. Mark Giordano is heading home, acquired by the Maple Leafs from the Seattle Kraken according to several reports including Ryan Leslie of Sportsnet. It is not yet clear what the Kraken will be receiving in return, though Darren Dreger of TSN tweets that multiple draft picks will be involved.
Giordano, 38, may not be the player who recorded 74 points and won the Norris Trophy in 2019, but he’s still a strong play-driving defenseman that can give the Maple Leafs a much-needed boost down the stretch. The fact that his partner during that Norris season was none other than T.J. Brodie only makes the deal that much better of a fit, even if he’s not the right-handed option that Toronto has been looking for for so long.
With Jake Muzzin out with his second concussion of the year and facing an uncertain recovery timeline, adding in a player like Giordano was an obvious move for the Maple Leafs. Still, given the high price of rentals this season and the tight cap situation that Toronto always finds itself in, acquiring a name this big was not always a guarantee.