2023-24 Maple Leafs predictions: Mark Giordano plays less than 50 games, still serves as reliable depth

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Joseph Zita
7 months ago
We’re less than two weeks away from the Toronto Maple Leafs playing their first game since game five against Florida in the second round of last season’s playoffs.
As we inch closer to the preseason and, of course, the regular season, we continue our prediction series with the members of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Today’s subject: Mark Giordano
Mark Giordano, acquired from Seattle at the 2022 trade deadline along with Colin Blackwell, has been a reliable and steady presence on the Maple Leafs’ blue line ever since he arrived in the city. However, it wasn’t until the playoffs against Tampa Bay and Florida that he got exposed a little bit in his zone, and it was a struggle to watch him at points in the playoffs.
The 39-year-old is entering his 18th NHL season – his second full one with Toronto – and although he has been a consistent top-four defenseman on many Calgary teams as well as being in Toronto’s top-six for the end of the 2021-22 season and pretty much the entire 2022-23 season, I think he ultimately loses his spot and doesn’t play a full 82 games this coming year.
Giordano as a team’s 7th defenseman is more than okay, and I guarantee you almost every team in the league would take Giordano to be their 7th defenseman as well.
I still think he will find his way into games this season, but nowhere near the amount he played last season (78 games) and the season prior (75 games).
The Toronto native will be 40 years old by opening night, and I don’t think Sheldon Keefe and the rest of the staff will want to be rolling out a 40-year-old Mark Giordano almost every night this coming season, especially when they still have Conor Timmins, who just re-signed with the club on a two-year extension, as well as other depth options in the Marlies that could serve as bottom pairing options at points in the season.
Giordano has already played in 98 games with Toronto, scoring six goals and adding 30 assists for 36 points while being a + 39. Yes, you read that right. + 39.
Through the season and a half with Giordano on the Maple Leafs, we saw him stand up for many teammates, fight Zach Bogosian in the first round of the playoffs last season, and become the NHL’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 2078, which he did against his former team, the Seattle Kraken.
If Giordano doesn’t play every night this coming season and loses his job to Timmins or somebody else, he’ll still always be a fan favourite here in the city, that’s for sure.
(All stats from Hockey-Reference.com)

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