The New York Rangers announced that Dan Girardi will be bought out and he will become an unrestricted free agent.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) June 14, 2017
Girardi made his NHL debut on January 27, 2007, and has remained on the main roster for the last ten years. He joined the organization in 2005 as an undrafted free agent who spent time playing for the Barie Colts, Guelph Storm and London Knights.
In his tenure with the Rangers, Girardi appeared in 788 regular season games tallying 46 goals and 184 assists for 230 points.He was never known for his offense, but he averaged 24 points a season during his tenure with the Rangers.
Girardi also appeared in 122 postseason games with the Rangers, scoring six goals and adding 27 assists for 33 points. One of his more memorable playoff moments was a game-winning goal in 2012 in Game 7 vs. the Ottawa Senators.
The buyout will save the Rangers some much-needed cap space for the next few seasons, and here’s what the total transaction looks like via Cap Friendly.
The Rangers will be in the red from 2020 to 2023, but those years are not completely covered by the current NHL CBA, and it will be during a time period in which Henrik Lundqvist is no longer between the pipes. The decision was made to give the Rangers flexibility to contend while they are in a win-now mode.
The Blueshirts needed to move on from Girardi because of his dwindling performance, but that shouldn’t diminish what he meant to the organization. Girardi was a tough as nails player who gave it his all for 11 seasons.
Before celebrating Girardi's buyout, applaud his career with NYR. 788 games in 11 seasons, 10 playoff berths, 2 ECF trips, one Cup Final.
— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) June 14, 2017
He was a well-respected leader in the dressing room and beloved teammate. The last few seasons were rough on Girardi as his body broke down, but for the better part of his career, he was a quality top-four defender who ate some important minutes for the franchise.
Girardi will look to extend his NHL career and is going to be going over potential options once his buyout is official.
Dan Girardi intends to continue his NHL career. He'll be seeking UFA options as soon as his #NYR buyout is complete.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) June 14, 2017
It is the end of an era for the Rangers, but much like when Brad Richards was bought out, the Blueshirts made the tough emotional but correct fiscal decision. If Kevin Klein does end up retiring as speculated, it will give the Rangers the ability to not only re-sign Brendan Smith, but add a much needed top-pairing defender to play alongside Ryan McDonagh.