The Toronto Maple Leafs have found their guy.
The Maple Leafs became the latest Atlantic Division team to land one of the top defensemen available ahead of the trade deadline, acquiring Seattle Kraken captain Mark Giordano and forward Colin Blackwell in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2022 NHL draft, a second-round pick in 2023, and a third-round pick in 2022.
Giordano, who will turn 39 before next season, is in the final year of a six-year contract that pays him $6.75 million per season and will be an unrestricted free agent this coming summer.
A dream rental. That's what Mark Giordano is.
The Toronto-native is a former Norris winner -- a battle-tested veteran on an expiring deal who has captained the only two franchises he's ever belonged to, and is also at the top of every annual "get this guy a Cup" power rankings.
What more could you want?
Giordano is no longer the blueline stalwart he was in Calgary. But the greybeard still has plenty left in the tank, nearly drawing even in expected goals while playing top-pair minutes on a moribund Seattle Kraken roster while also generating 50.54 percent and 52 percent of the regular and high-danger scoring chances at even-strength, respectively.
Factor in a decent 23 points in 55 games, and Giordano is the perfect "last piece" for a contender looking to shore up their blueline and locker room dynamic with one of the best assets available.
Blackwell, on the other hand, is an undersized but effective depth forward who should help spark the Maple Leafs' fledgling fourth line. The 26-year-old can play center and either wing position, and sits with 17 points in 39 games so far this season.
With the Leafs so short on cap space at the moment, the two teams were forced to wait until after 5 PM EST to complete the deal, with teams being permitted to spend over the salary cap until the next day at 5 PM before needing to become compliant.
It's certainly a complicated trade on paper. But it's one that makes the Maple Leafs a better team heading into the postseason.