The Leafs have been one of the NHL's top teams since Giordano's arrival; is he the missing link?

Published April 10, 2022 at 9:15
BY MIKE ARMENTI
As the Leafs approached the NHL's trade deadline, they were rumoured to be in on several of the top defensemen who were made available by their respective teams. In the end, the Leafs chose to pursue Toronto native Mark Giordano, and what a move that's turned out to be for the Buds.

Giordano, 38, was certainly not the sexiest name out there, with the likes of Jakob Chychrun and Hampus Lindholm available, but Gio has proven in his short time in Toronto that he is exactly what this team needed. A big, strong, physical two-way veteran defenseman who, although he is on the back 9 of his career, could provide the Leafs with smart, safe plays in any situation, kill plays and calm everyone down.

Now, with 10 games under his belt as a Leaf, I think it's fair to ask the question; is Mark Giordano the missing piece that has eluded Toronto at the deadline over the past few seasons? It certainly appears that way.

Since Giordano came to Toronto, the Leafs have posted an impressive 8-1-1 record and are one of the hottest teams in the National Hockey League. They currently sit 2nd in the Atlantic Division and 3rd in the overall league standings.


Giordano is not the elite defenseman and Norris Trophy winner that he once was, circa 2019, but he still thinks the game the same way and he has been right on par with where he's been production-wise over the past few seasons - right around a half-point per game.

Giordano is also tethered to the Leafs' history books now as well, as he was the one who assisted on Auston Matthews' record-setting 55th goal, breaking Rick Vaive's 40-year-old single season goal scoring record.

The Buds have 10 games remaining this season before the real test begins. I'm not ashamed to say that I'm starting to believe again and, though Leafs fans seem to say it every year, this year it actually feels true. This team feels different.

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