Panthers Should View Mark Giordano as a Trade Target

The Florida Panthers are currently atop the Atlantic Division with a 35-13-5 record and 75 points. Of course, as with all teams, they have flaws. The Panthers’ defense could use a bit of an upgrade as they rank 15th in the NHL in goals against per game, and they’ve allowed four or more goals in their last three games. General manager Bill Zito has already shown an interest in defensemen on the market, but it wouldn’t hurt to see what the Seattle Kraken will take for their captain Mark Giordano as he is rumored to be made available.

The Illustrious Career of Mark Giordano

Giordano was acquired by the Kraken via the expansion draft from the Calgary Flames. He is one of the most accomplished players in franchise history, and in 2013, he replaced the legendary Jarome Iginla as Calgary’s captain. In the 2018-19 season, at 35 years of age, he won the Norris Trophy as the league’s best defenseman. The following season, he won the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

Mark Giordano Seattle Kraken
Since coming into the league undrafted in 2005, Seattle Kraken Defenseman and Captain Mark Giordano has become one of the best players in the NHL today with his talent and leadership. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Through 998 games, 949 with the Flames, he’s tallied 532 points (149 goals, 383 assists) and has a plus-80 career rating. At 38, he’s still one of the most decorated defensemen in the NHL.

What Does He Bring to the Table for Florida?

Giordano would bring leadership and experience to any team that wants him. He would also bring stability to the defense; he’s second on the Kraken, averaging 21:30 minutes of ice time per game. He’s talented on the penalty kill with two shorthanded goals this season and still brings talent to the game despite his age.

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In addition to security, Giordano would also be a good mentor for young defensemen such as Lucas Carlsson and Chase Priskie by helping them cement their skills and showing them new tricks. With his teachings, he could guide them towards a brighter future in the NHL.

Who Could Florida Part Ways With to Get Him?

The Panthers have an abundance of forwards, including some who are healthy scratches on some nights. Forward Frank Vatrano hasn’t played in every game this season despite being healthy. In addition, he’s in the final year of his three-year contract and was linked to Seattle in reports leading up to the expansion draft. He may be on the table for Florida to offer.

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Additionally, forward Owen Tippett was rumored to be available after being scratched and sent down to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL). The former 10th overall pick in 2017 could be packaged to sweeten the deal to bring in the veteran defenseman. A great sniper, the Kraken could use Tippett’s abilities as they ranked 28th in the NHL in goals for per game and 29th on the man advantage.

Will Zito Pick Up the Phone and Work His Magic?

The Panthers could use some extra defense after their most recent performances last week by allowing a combined total of 16 goals in three games. Giordano would not only solidify one of their pairings but bring playoff experience to the fray with 23 playoff games with the Flames. With the postseason less than two months away, Florida could use someone to help make that big push for positioning.

It all comes down to Zito. Florida has the assets and Seattle will likely be sellers, considering their struggles in their inaugural season. With the deadline only a few weeks away, could Giordano make his way to Florida for a playoff push?

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