The captain will be back!
The Calgary Flames have indeed re-signed star defenseman Mark Giordano to a reasonable six-year, $40.5M contract that includes a full no-trade clause for the first four years and a 20-team one for the last two.
At the time of his injury last season, he was leading all defensemen in points and his play at both ends of the ice helped push the Flames into a playoff spot; he was the heavy favourite for the Norris Trophy and would have been a consensus pick because he usually qualifies as ''not just an offensive defenseman'', unlike, say, Erik Karlsson and P.K. Subban, albeit erroneously at this point in their careers for those two.
I won't pretend that $6.5M per year isn't a huge payday, but in the ''elite-gets-paid-first'' NHL cap world, many expected him to be looking for an eight-year deal at $9M per, but instead he went and did the sensible thing and asked for a reasonable amount - enough to be the highest-paid on the team at his position for the next couple of years - but leaving ample room for management to bring back other players who will also deserve raises, and set the tone as the leader of the group and what type of character is required to play for that team. It really reflects what the Flames had shown us all year, with their grit, toughness, all-business, no-nonsense, fair and equal style.
Colour me impressed.
And so here's a card showing him wearing the captain's ''C'' in the team's red home uniform, from Panini's 2013-14 Playbook set (card #LE-MGI of the Limited Edition sub-set, numbered 76/99), featuring a red game-worn material swatch enclosed: