i'm sure everyone is expecting a comment from me regarding gio's deal, since he's widely known as my favorite player. as i said over at flamesnation: i think it's awesome... and in darryl sutter's team hierarchy, he fits exactly where he SHOULD fit* ----with the (speculated) exact same cap hit as robyn regehr. in the years moving forward, gio is the most likely candidate to become a shutdown/PP hybrid and i think +/- 4mil is where he would've slotted in on most NHL clubs. getting him for 3.5 would've been a steal and i think daz is smarter than to give him a second slap in the face to the tune of $3,999,995 [the first slap being, of course, two-way deal offered and declined in '06]. the difference between those numbers is less than what we threw away to see raitis ivanans to play one game (6 minutes ?) in a flaming C.
bottom line: i think everybody wins.
i thought this might be a nice time to post my entry to the calgary sun "meet mark giordano contest," whereby the winner will be the person who best describes why #5 is their favorite player. hey, i'll probably lose to some kid with a big box of crayons who draws a fun likeness of the 10am shadow, but my mini-essay was honest and as concise as i felt i could be on the subject with the price is right rules (ie: without going over). in the end, i probably lost the competition by not using caps, or more likely by slagging anders eriksson and randy sportak, but.... meh. it was worth it:
It won't be difficult to convince you why Mark Giordano is my favorite player, but it will be difficult doing so in 300 words or less... ;)
when calgary's #5 opened the 2009/2010 season's scoring with a beautiful goal against vancouver, my phone went berserk with text messages. not only had "gio" scored a goal, but my favorite player had tallied the team's first goal of the year !! all of my friends country-wide watching the game acknowledged that nobody would be happier about it than yours truly....
i first started applauding gio as a player in 2006 and i was up in arms when darryl wouldn't sign him to a one-way deal (ultimately forcing him to go to russia). i've often lamented how much better the team would have been with giordano on the blueline the subsequent year, instead of anders eriksson (who was signed the day after gio announced his overseas intentions).
in 2008 when i got my jersey lettered GIO, i was a trailblazer at the saddledome. earlier the same year, i engaged in a spirited email debate with your own randy sportak when he suggested Sutter's aforementioned non-contract decision was a sound one (i wholeheartedly disagreed).
this February, i had the pleasure of speaking with giordano's AHL coach (tom rowe), who was surprised to hear me name him as my favorite player. though he'd always respected his work ethic and hockey sense, he didn't think gio was 'superstar' enough to unseat guys like iginla or kiprusoff as anyone's most-loved flame... the next night, #5 dumped 6'3" 210lb hurricanes' blueliner, joni pitkanen, into the carolina players' bench and virtually onto rowe's lap. i'm sure in the commotion of it all, rowe grinned a little about that gal from calgary who knew a thing or two about mark giordano....
*presuming, of course, that iggy starts earning his 7mil, and jaybouw starts earning his 6.6 mil.