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The Calgary Flames have a ton of big decisions to make this off-season. Among them is what to do with captain Mark Giordano.
He is a great player and loyal servant but – for the first time – a case can actually be made for trading him.
At this point it’s crystal clear the Flames are not good enough to contend. GM Brad Treliving has moved pieces here and there but the core has been in place for quite some time now and they’re simply not getting results.
Not only have they consistently failed to get it done in the playoffs, but (at times) they’ve failed miserably. They hit a new low this year dropping three straight games to Dallas, topped off by allowing seven unanswered in Game 6.
The Flames seem destined to retool as a result, which means they would be smart to listen on Giordano.
He’s 36 now and, believe it or not, is beginning to show age. Don’t get me wrong; he is still a *very* effective player. We’re just finally seeing signs of father time catching up.
Giordano netted only five goals in 60 regular season games, the lowest per game output since 2008-09. He produced 31 points while averaging the lowest per game output since 2012-13. Although his totals regressing was inevitable
, it was discouraging to see such a dip.
Zooming out, Evolving-Hockey had Giordano worth 7 Goals Above Replacement in 2019-20. While still quite strong, his GAR total fell 10.3 below a year ago. That also marks the lowest GAR Giordano has posted since his first year back from Russia (2008-09). There is at least some reason to believe this is the start of the downswing.
Should the Flames follow through with the rumors and shake up the core, they’re probably not going to contend within the next couple of years.
Thus, trading Giordano – a year removed from a Norris Trophy victory – seems like the responsible thing to do.
The Flames could undoubtedly land a big haul for Giordano – a haul that would improve the outlook of the team moving forward.
As much as everyone loves Giordano, a slowly declining soon-to-be 37-year-old isn’t much use to a retooling team.
If there isn’t much of a present, the best course of action is making decisions to improve the future. I think trading Giordano fits the criteria.
Giordano’s no-trade clause does make things a little more difficult, however, there are 12 teams Calgary can trade him to without permission. There’s always the possibility he’d expand it for the right fit.
I’m not saying the Flames should be forcing him out the door. But, if they really are going to embrace a retool, they’d be ignorant not to consider a trade.
Numbers via Evolving-Hockey.com
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