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Report: Maple Leafs veteran Mark Giordano intends to play in 2024-25

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Photo credit:David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Alex Hobson
22 days ago
Although the Leafs didn’t get to make any meaningful postseason runs with him, it’s hard to believe things could have gone any better during Mark Giordano’s brief but meaningful tenure in Toronto. After acquiring him from the Seattle Kraken at the 2022 trade deadline along with forward Colin Blackwell, the two-time captain went on to sign a two-year contract with an average annual value (AAV) of $800,000, which was significantly lower than what he could have commanded on the market.
That contract is up now, and while it seemed more likely than not that he was staring down the barrel of retirement, he’s apparently not ready to hang them up yet.
In a recent notebook published by Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star, he revealed via Giordano’s agent, Rich Winter, that he intends to play this season and even beyond if he can.
“Mark has made the decision that he’s playing for a few more years,” said Winter. “He feels very confident. He’s been talking to a lot of people who tell him: Don’t quit until they make you. He clearly wants to play.”
Giordano is one of 11 players general manager Brad Treliving will have to make a decision about, but it seems like the Leafs will go in a different direction unless he’s open to serving in a depth role. If he wants to play full time, he could be a good target for rebuilding teams with a young group.
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Calgary Flames in 2004, Giordano was a staple on the team’s bottom pair in the first year of his new deal and played far beyond his pay grade early in the season following injuries to Morgan Rielly, T.J. Brodie, and Jake Muzzin. There was a stretch of eight games in November 2022 where he averaged 23:12 in time-on-ice (TOI) logging top pair minutes with Justin Holl. He only missed four regular season games that year and played all 11 playoff games. 2023-24 was a different story, however. Naturally, the 40-year-old’s age caught up to him, and between injuries, being passed on the depth chart by the likes of Simon Benoit, and the eventual trade deadline acquisitions of Ilya Lyubushkin and Joel Edmundson, he saw his ice time decrease. He only played 46 regular season games, tallying nine points in those games, and didn’t dress for a single playoff game.
If this is the end of his time as a Leaf, it should be looked back on fondly. He logged some heavy minutes for somebody who was acquired to be a veteran presence and by all accounts was a great teammate. He would be an excellent addition to the team’s development staff whenever that retirement day comes, but it seems like he’s not quite ready for that yet.

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