Calgary Flames captain Mark Giordano has one season remaining on a six-year contract at an average annual value of $6.75 million. And there have been rumors abounding that the Flames may elect not to keep him protected in the upcoming NHL Expansion Draft, in which the new Seattle Kraken will assemble their team.
According to noted NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun, the Flames are currently weighing all options, and are engaged in what he described as "a game of chess" right now.
"What I can tell you is my sense in talking to other sources around the League about the Flames over the last couple of days is that they're looking at every scenario," LeBrun explained earlier today on TSN. "They don't want to lose Mark Giordano to Seattle. But it's also probably a stretch to suggest that a leading option would be to protect four defenseman in an eight skater format instead of 7-3-1. Now, you're exposing some forwards that you don't want to lose.
What I"m hearing over the last two or three days are renewed discussions between Seattle and Calgary about what the price would be for the Kraken to not take Giordano," LeBrun continued. "Frankly, given what I'm hearing from other teams right now, I suspect that price is too high. It's a game of poker...will Ron Francis, the GM of the Kraken, lower his price for all these teams that are sweating this out?
"Certainly, the other option for Calgary is if they can't negotiate a side deal with Seattle, would be simply to trade a defenseman or make a hockey trade with another team, and I think that's been explored as well. The long and short answer is that Calgary is looking at their options right now."
The 37 year old Giordano went undrafted and made his NHL debut with the Flames during the 2005-06 season before playing in 48 games the following year. After playing in Russia the following two campaigns, he's been a mainstay on the Flames ever since. He was also named the 19th captain in team history in 2019.
In 949 NHL games, Giordano has scored 143 goals with 366 assists for 509 career points, along with 759 PIM.