Giordano signs in Russia
Defenceman Mark Giordano has left the Calgary Flames and signed with Moscow Dynamo of the Russian Super League.had a nice post on Giordano's potential jump to Europe last week that deserves a mention.
Giordano, 23, was offered a two-way contract with the Flames but chose instead to sign with Dynamo for $800,000 (US). Last season, the Toronto-born Giordano played in 48 NHL games and scored seven goals and 15 points.
In short, I think this is (a) a miscalculation by the Flames if he, indeed, is gone for the season and (b) a nice bargaining ploy by the player and his agent given he can renege on the Russia deal any time he likes (given the lack of a transfer agreement).
Still, the fact that we're seeing players this young who are on the rise leaving for what amounts to pennies is troubling. Giordano is not some scrub who won't impact on the NHL's relative talent level; he's a (potentially) dynamic, puck-moving quarterback, a player fans would much rather pay to see play and develop than some of the older, sluggish veterans Calgary will instead use on the blue line.
Giordano could potentially turn into another Kevin Bieksa — a low-paid, high-return option on the blue line who offers considerable value given where he fits in on the team pay scale. Anders Eriksson could potentially, well ... he's 32 and what you see is what you get.
But if young players aren't willing to stick it out in the minor leagues on two-way deals given salary-cap scrimping, what then? One wonders how teams plan on developing their youngsters within their own various minor-league systems when the compensation there simply doesn't reflect their value to the NHL club.
There's more to be said on this, and my bet is The Battle of Alberta will have something up shortly.