AP source: Kraken trading Mark Giordano to Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have agreed to acquire veteran defenseman Mark Giordano from the Seattle Kraken, a person with knowledge of the deal told The Associated Press.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Sunday because the deal had not been announced by either team.

Giordano is joining his hometown team, which is looking to win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup since 1967. The 38-year-old former captain of the Kraken and Calgary Flames brings additional leadership to a core that has not won a playoff series in several attempts.

It was not immediately clear the full price Toronto paid for Giordano, though the Leafs acquired a third-round pick from Vancouver for defenseman Travis Dermott. The Canucks got a third-round pick from Ottawa for Travis Hamonic in another deal that set the table for the other movement.

While he recently played his 1,000th NHL game, Giordano has dressed in only 23 playoff games in 16 NHL seasons. His 24th could be part of one of the most scrutinized series in recent history with the pressure again on the Maple Leafs to advance.

It could come against the back-to-back defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning or the Florida Panthers, who made another move before the Monday’s trade deadline and may not be done loading up for a long run. The Panthers acquired defenseman Robert Hagg from the Buffalo Sabres for a sixth-round pick in the draft this summer.

Eastern Conference-leading Florida already traded for Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux and Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot. With Aaron Ekblad injured and expected to miss at least two weeks, the Panthers could put their top defenseman on long-term injured reserve for the rest of the season and use the salary cap space to accumulate more talent.

Hagg, a 27-year-old Swede, has six seasons of NHL experience and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Florida general manager Bill Zito called Hagg “a tireless competitor” who adds a physical element to the blue line.

The Maple Leafs and other teams used Sunday to position themselves for moves before the deadline. Toronto signed Olympic gold medal-winning Finnish goaltender Harri Sateri and put struggling veteran Petr Mrazek on waivers.

Sateri, 32, signed a pro-rated $750,000 contract for the rest of the season. He needs to clear waivers before joining Toronto, so any other team around the league could claim him and mess with the Leafs’ latest plan to fix their goaltending woes.

Reigning Vezina Trophy-winning goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is now the top player available, after Giordano went to Toronto. There could be more than a dozen depth moves before the deadline Monday at 3 p.m. EDT.

Here’s a look at who else could be on the move:

MARC-ANDRE FLEURY

It’s more a question of if Fleury will be traded than where because he has strong protection in his contract and the Blackhawks’ word that they will only move him if that’s his choice. It’s quite possible nothing materializes and he remains in Chicago the rest of the season.

The Washington Capitals in recent weeks asked around about multiple goaltenders, including Fleury. But after so many memorable playoff series against the Capitals while with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Fleury doesn’t seem keen on helping a former rival and potentially facing his old team.

After helping the Penguins win the Cup three times and backstopping the Vegas Golden Knights to the final in their inaugural season in 2018, maybe Fleury can be persuaded to help the Maple Leafs try for their first championship in 55 years.

JAKOB CHYCHRUN

It’s not normal for 23-year-old defensemen signed for three more seasons to be available this time of year, and this one is complicated by injury. But Chychrun is coming off a season in which he finished 10th in Norris Trophy voting with the Arizona Coyotes and would be a top-four if not top-pairing contributor for a contender interested in trying to take a few cracks at the Cup.

Based on the Bruins trading a first-round pick, two second-rounders and prospect Urho Vaakanainen to the Anaheim Ducks for Hampus Lindholm — whom they then signed for $52 million over eight years — the price for Chychrun could be even higher. But the Coyotes are still early in a full-scale, long-term rebuild, so they are motivated to stockpile future assets.

PHIL KESSEL

Speaking of Arizona being motivated to make trades, moving Kessel is a no-brainer. A two-time Cup champion with Fleury in Pittsburgh, the veteran winger has struggled to produce on one of the league’s worst teams, but he could certainly do more with better talent around him.

Kessel was almost a point-a-game player on the Penguins Cup runs in 2016 and 2017 and still has something left in the tank at 34.

MAX DOMI

A pending unrestricted free agent, Domi could be on to his fourth NHL organization at age 27. He spent the past two seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who could also trade pending free agent goaltender Joonas Korpisalo and defenseman Dean Kukan.

Domi, who the Capitals have shown interest in, would like Kessel benefit from playing with different linemates and the chance to make a long postseason run. He has only played in 10 playoff games all with Montreal in the bubble in 2020.