New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Dan Girardi on a contract extension.
“Dan has been a Ranger for his entire career, signing with us as an undrafted free agent and working his way to become a top defenseman in the NHL,” said Sather. “His dedication to this club, as a leader both on the ice and in the locker room, is invaluable to this team. We are happy to have been able to ensure that he will continue to wear the Blueshirt.”
Girardi, 29, has ranked in the top six in the NHL in blocked shots in each of the last four seasons, and in the top 15 in average ice time in each of the last three entering this season. The eight-year veteran ranks ninth in franchise history in games played by a defenseman, having skated in 548 career regular season games with the Rangers. Selected as an NHL All-Star in 2011-12, he was awarded the John Halligan Good Guy Award for cooperation with the media following last season, and was named Rangers Fan Club Rookie of the Year in 2006-07.
In 548 career games, Girardi has registered 35 goals and 136 assists for 171 points, along with 215 penalty minutes. He led Rangers defensemen in scoring during the 2010-11 season, and has ranked in the top three in scoring among team defensemen in each of his six full NHL seasons. Girardi has led the league in blocked shots twice – in 2010-11 (236) and 2012-13 (125) – and ranks first in the NHL with 847 blocked shots since the start of the 2009-10 season.
Girardi has registered four goals and 13 assists for 17 points, along with 14 penalty minutes in 60 games this season. He ranks second among team defensemen in goals, assists, and points. He also leads the Rangers in hits (145), blocked shots (121), and shorthanded assists (two), and ranks second in average ice time (22:40). Girardi recorded a point in four of five games during a five-game road trip from December 27 to January 4 (one goal, three assists over the span), and skated in his 500th career NHL game on October 31 against Buffalo.
The Welland, Ontario native established career-highs in assists (27) and points (31) during the 2010-11 season. He led all Rangers defensemen and ranked second and seventh on the team, respectively, in assists and points, and led the league with a career-high, 236 blocked shots that season. In 2011-12, Girardi posted career-highs in plus/minus rating (plus-13), hits (211), and power play assists (nine), and was selected to participate in the NHL All-Star game. He tallied one assist in the contest skating with Team Alfredsson. Girardi notched a career-high, 10 goals, in his first full season with the Rangers in 2007-08, including his first career goal on October 18, 2007 at Atlanta. His 10 goals tied for 20th among NHL defensemen that season.
In post-season action, Girardi has registered five goals and 14 assists for 19 points, along with 20 penalty minutes in 64 career playoff contests. He helped lead the Rangers to Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals, posting playoff career-highs in games played (20), goals (three), assists (nine), points (12), plus/minus rating (plus-six), and game-winning goals (three). Girardi led all league defensemen and tied for first in the NHL overall in game-winning goals, ranked third among NHL defensemen in points and assists, ranked second on the team in points and tied for first in assists that post-season.
Girardi was originally signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent on July 1, 2006. He made his NHL debut on January 27, 2007 at Philadelphia, and finished his rookie season with six assists in 34 games to capture the Rangers Fan Club Rookie of the Year award.