The New York Rangers made one step toward solidifying their defense for the 2010-11 season by signing Dan Girardi to a new contract and avoiding an arbitration hearing. Details of the contract were not disclosed.
A restricted free agent, the 26-year-old had 6 goals and 18 points last season, and played all 82 games for the third straight season. His 280 consecutive games played streak is the ninth-longest current streak in the League. And he's done it by leading the team and ranking sixth in the League with 180 blocked shots and tying for second on the team with 178 hits last season. His 21:28 average ice time per game was second on the team to fellow defenseman Marc Staal.
Staal, who was second on the Rangers in scoring among defensemen, also is a restricted free agent.
[Stamkos] is a great teammate and a great leader, that's why he's got the 'C'. He brings that tremendous work ethic to the rink and he's one of the top players in the game. I know if I put the passes where they are supposed to be, there's a very good chance he's going to put it in the back of the net.
— Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin on linemate Steven Samkos
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