The New York Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association (PHWA) announced today that Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi has been selected as the team's nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2016-17. The Bill Masterton Trophy is awarded annually to the NHL player who "best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."
Girardi has skated in 781 career NHL games over parts of 11 seasons (2006-07 - 2016-17), all with the Rangers, registering 46 goals and 181 assists for 227 points, along with a plus-54 rating and 275 penalty minutes. He ranks ninth on the Rangers' all-time games played list, and he has appeared in more games with the Blueshirts than any other undrafted player in franchise history (among players who were eligible to be selected since the NHL Draft was implemented in 1963). He ranks fifth among Rangers defensemen in career games played, and the only defensemen who have skated in more games with the Blueshirts than Girardi are Harry Howell, Brian Leetch, Ron Greschner, and Jim Neilson. In addition, Girardi has appeared in more playoff games than any other skater (forward or defenseman) in franchise history (110), and he skated in 109 consecutive playoff games with the Rangers from his NHL playoff debut in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Atlanta in 2007 to Game 1 of the First Round against Pittsburgh in 2016.
Since he made his NHL debut on Jan. 27, 2007, the Welland, Ontario, native leads the NHL in blocked shots (1,674) and ranks 16th in the league in games played (781). Girardi has skated in at least 80 games in seven seasons in his career, and he has played all 82 games of a season five times. Since the NHL implemented an 82-game schedule in 1995-96, Girardi and Brian Leetch are the only Rangers who have played 82 games in five different seasons. Girardi has averaged at least 20:00 of ice time in nine seasons in his career, and he has recorded 20 penalty minutes or fewer in seven of his 11 NHL seasons.
Girardi represented the Rangers at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game and finished sixth in voting for the Norris Trophy as the NHL's best defenseman in 2011-12. He led the league in blocked shots in 2010-11 and 2012-13, and he established career-highs in blocked shots (236), assists (27), and points (31) during the 2010-11 season. Girardi has served as one of the Rangers' alternate captains since the start of the 2011-12 season.
The 6-1, 212-pounder has skated in 56 games with the Rangers this season, registering four goals and eight assists for 12 points, along with a plus-eight rating and 16 penalty minutes. Girardi is tied for second in the NHL in blocked shots per game in 2016-17 (2.7), and he is also tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in game-winning goals (three). He leads the Rangers in blocked shots per game, ranks second in blocked shots (149), and is tied for fourth in game-winning goals this season.
Girardi was signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent on July 1, 2006.