The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed Mark Giordano.
The Toronto Maple Leafs kicked off their offseason today with a splashy free agent signing, announcing that they will be bringing their prized trade deadline acquisition back for two more years.
The deal, which I learned about from Chris Johnson, is at the league minimum for the next two years.
It would be hard to exaggerate just how great of a signing this is, but allow me to now try.
Toronto Maple Leafs Make Best Signing Ever
Obviously, I’m just kidding around.
This really is quite an incredible move because despite being one of the NHL’s oldest players (He’ll turn 39 around the time next season starts) Giordano appeared to have found the fountain of youth when the Leafs acquired him this past March.
Giordano played 20 regular season games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, posting a 55% Corsi, with the Leafs getting 58% of the shots and 60% of the goals when he was on the ice.
Giordano’s 60.83 Expected Goals Percentage led the Leafs, and he scored at a 50 point pace (12 points in 20 games), making his impact that of a #1 defenseman.
I don’t expect that Giordano will continue to post these kinds of ridiculous numbers, but the fact is that 3rd pairing defenseman don’t usually contribute very much one way or the other, so at the league minimum, you’re probably going to be fine if he plays every other game, isn’t that good when he dresses, and only brings leadership and experience.
Anything he brings above that is a bonus, and if he can play every game, and post the kind of numbers he did since he’s been here it will basically be found-money.
This is a risk-free, no-lose signing for the Leafs, and in the next couple of days I’d expect them to sign Ilya Lyubushkin to a similar kind of extension. (All stats naturalstattrick.com).
Not only are right-handed defenseman relatively rare, but defense-only players never get paid, so Lyubushkin will provide another dirt-cheap option on the blue-line.
Neither Liljegren or Sandin will get paid very much for next season, and Holl is already signed for $2 million dollars. That means that along with Gio, and the eventual signing of Lyubushkin, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have five NHL defenseman for, I’m guessing, maybe 8-9 million.
Rielly is signed longterm, and Topi Niemela is going to be here before long, which means that Brodie and Muzzin, at $10 million dollars, are pretty expendable.
More on that later. For now, the Leafs have signed Mark Giordano, and it’s hard to find even the smallest risk or downside to the deal. Impressive move.