Mark Giordano signs monster 6-year, $40.5 million extension. Is Norris Trophy next?

Jared Clinton
Mark Giordano (Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

The Calgary Flames have locked up their captain and all-star defenseman to a long-term extension.

It was announced Tuesday afternoon that Mark Giordano has inked a six-year extension with the Flames that will keep him in Calgary until the 2021-22 season. According to multiple sources, including TSN’s Bob McKenzie, the six-year deal carries an average annual value of $6.75 million. How exactly the salary is broken down hasn’t yet been reported, however.

Initial details of Giordano’s extension talks said the veteran defenseman was looking for somewhere in the $9 million range on an extension, which would have made him one of the five highest-paid defensemen in the league. At $6.75 million — an outstanding price for the Calgary Flames — Giordano will come in as one of the 10-highest paid defensemen, edging out the likes of Ottawa’s Erik Karlsson and St. Louis’ Alex Pietrangelo.

Giordano, 31, has spent the past seven seasons with the Flames and has been the club’s captain since the 2013. His play over the past few seasons has been a blessing for Calgary, as he has turned the corner from consistent top-pairing defenseman to legitimate Norris Trophy candidate. With his ability, he would have been one of 2016’s top free agents were he to hit the open market. The six-year extension assures Giordano won’t be going anywhere, though. Read more

AHL Logo Ranking: No. 21 – Stockton Heat

Jared Clinton
Stockton Heat logo (via SportsLogos.net/Chris Creamer)

(The AHL has undergone a season of change and one-third of the league has changed locations or logos for the 2015-16 season. Leading up to the new season, The Hockey News will be ranking the logos of the league’s teams and offering a brief look at the history of each franchise. See the rest of the rankings in our AHL feed.)

Maybe the hubbub surrounding AHL hockey in Stockton can help fans forgive the Heat for what could be a trying 2015-16 season.

One of six new teams in the league for the 2015-16 season, the Heat are coming off of a single, disappointing season playing in Glens Falls, N.Y., as the Adirondack Flames. The Flames were led largely by their rookie talent, many of whom will be back in 2015-16.

Where they might be better is on the blueline, where they could have Calgary prospects Keegan Kanzig — all 6-foot-6, 243 pounds of him — and Oliver Kylington join them. Other prospects set to join the Heat in 2015-16 include Austin Carroll, Morgan Klimchuk, Louick Marcotte and Hunter Smith.

There weren’t many big name additions to the club, however. The NHL’s Flames nabbed center Derek Grant in free agency and the center, who scored 21 goals and 38 points for the Binghamton Senators in 2014-15, will help add some offensive firepower. There’s also 27-year-old defenseman Jakub Nakladal, who was pursued by several teams but decided to sign with Calgary and could provide the Heat with a top-four defenseman. But the only other real additions have been Mitchell Heard, who will play a third- or fourth-line role in Stockton, and netminder Kent Simpson, who will have to fight for time behind Jon Gillies and Joni Ortio. Read more

Flames unveil plans for new arena complex in downtown Calgary

Jared Clinton
The CalgaryNEXT arena would house the Flames and CFL's Stampeders. (via CalgaryNEXT)

Calgary’s Saddledome is currently the fourth oldest building in the entire NHL, but the Flames don’t plan on being there much longer after unveiling plans for a new arena complex to be built in downtown Calgary.

Tuesday evening, the Flames ownership group presented what they’re calling CalgaryNEXT, a $900 million arena which would include a 20,000-seat hockey arena and 30,000-seat football stadium. The football stadium would double as a public fieldhouse.

Actually getting the arena in place won’t be an easy process, however. Read more

Which Canadian team will reign supreme in 2015-16?

Canadiens stars Carey Price and P.K. Subban. (Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

While there’s no award given for finishing as the best Canadian team in the NHL, it’s always a point of pride for the seven clubs north of the border.

In 2014-15, the Montreal Canadiens were practically carried by the incredible play of Carey Price, finishing atop the Atlantic Division and just three points back of capturing the Presidents’ Trophy. In addition to leading the charge in the Atlantic, though, the Canadiens also ended the campaign as the best Canadian club in the league — and, it just so happened, as the Canadian team with the best shot at capturing Canada’s first Stanley Cup since 1993.

Montreal has made some interesting additions to the lineup this off-season by acquiring struggling sniper Alexander Semin, grinder Zack Kassian and defenseman Mark Barberio. The trade deadline additions of Brian Flynn, Devante Smith-Pelly, Torrey Mitchell and Brian Flynn will also get a full season in Montreal this time around. But in 2015-16, does Montreal finish atop the heap of Canadian teams again or does another club unseat them as the country’s best club? Read more

Rumor Roundup: Big names set to hit open market next season

Steven Stamkos (Photo by David E. Klutho /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)

This summer’s pool of unrestricted free agent talent was the shallowest in recent memory, but next summer’s crop promises to be considerably deeper. Here’s a look at several NHL stars who could be available by July 1, 2016.

Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightning. It’s assumed the Lightning will re-sign Stamkos, but it’s been over a month since his agent, Don Meehan, told TSN talks had yet to commence. Re-signing Stamkos could cost the Bolts over $10-million annually on an eight-year deal. If they can’t or won’t pay top dollar, another club will gladly do so next summer.

Both sides give the appearance a deal can be reached. However, the longer the Lightning captain is unsigned, the more speculation will grow over his future in Tampa Bay. Read more

Memorial Cup hosts land Michael Spacek, chase Brandon Hickey

Michael Spacek (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

The way Red Deer finished the 2014-15 campaign – a five-game, first-round loss to Medicine Hat – you’d be forgiven for wondering how they would turn things around in time to be tough hosts of the Memorial Cup this year. But in a flash of activity, GM and coach Brent Sutter has begun to shake the foundations.

Read more

The five least effective trade deadline deals of 2014-15

James Wisniewski (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

For the past week, the Toronto Blue Jays have owned the sports news cycle thanks to the club’s big time acquisitions of Troy Tulowitzki and David Price ahead of the MLB trade deadline. There’s one problem, though: there’s a possibility that neither trade will actually help get the Blue Jays into the post-season.

The Blue Jays currently sit two games back of a wild-card spot, and, even then, they may find themselves ousted in the one-game playoff between the wild-card teams. If that happens, they will have made two major trades and, especially with regards to the Price trade, have mortgaged their future in a non-playoff year.

This isn’t a problem specific to baseball, however. Every year, teams wheel and deal at the NHL trade deadline with hopes of getting that final piece to put them over the top. This season was a rarity, in that the Chicago Blackhawks’ key addition, Antoine Vermette, actually performed admirably throughout the post-season and helped bring another Cup to the Windy City. In other cases, though, the deals went bust. Such is the case when there can only be one champion.

Here are five deadline deals from the past season that fell flat: Read more

Sven Baertschi gets one-year, one-way deal with Canucks

Jared Clinton
Sven Baertschi (Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)

Sven Baertschi has suited up in a mere 69 NHL games since being selected 13th overall in the 2011 draft, but he could more than double that total next season.

The Vancouver Canucks announced late Tuesday they have signed the 22-year-old Baertschi to a one-year, one-way deal that will pay the Swiss winger $900,000 next season. The money is notable if for no other reason than it’s actually a cut in salary from Baertschi’s entry-level contract, on which he had an NHL salary of $925,000.

To say Baertschi has had a turbulent tenure in the NHL would be an understatement. Since being taken by the Calgary Flames in the 2011 draft’s first round, Baertschi has bounced back and forth from WHL to NHL to AHL and back again. Last season alone, Baertschi suited up for the Canucks, Flames, Utica Comets and Adirondack Flames, playing no fewer than five games with each club. The hope now is that he can find a permanent place with the Canucks. Read more