I’ll be the first one to say that Dan Girardi stinks. In fact, I’ve had a hard time liking him ever since he fanned on a puck, proceeded to fall down, turned the puck over, and then gave up the game winning goal during the first overtime of game 1 of the Stanley Cup against the Kings. That play has been engrained into my brain and will remain there for my entire life (In case you forgot i’ve embedded it below, sorry to bring up a sore subject).
I believe the Kings were a better team than we were in 2014, but I also believe had we stole game 1 on the road in that series, we have a hell of a chance of taking home the cup, especially with all the long overtime games lost in the process.
I said earlier I’ll be the first to say Girardi stinks, and he does. However, I do think Rangers nation has been a bit quick to jump down his throat. I feel most of the hostility is toward his atrocious contract. Some fans need to focus their anger more towards management a and less towards Girardi. Lets face it, if your boss told you he would give you 20K more on your salary to perform the same job, you’d say yes too.
Dan is a worn, 32 years old, with 4 long years left on his contract at a heavy 5.5 million per year. There had been lots of talk about a potential Girardi buy out, but that was put to rest when the Post reported that management does not intend to proceed with the buy out. I have to say, although many people think it’s the right move, to essentially dump Girardi and forget about him forever, I believe that is the wrong approach. A buyout would require a team with an already tight cap crunch to pay out 2/3 of the money owed to Girardi (14 million) over the next 10 years. That is something the Rangers did not want to hold onto. If they were going to buy him out this summer the cap hit would have been 1.75 million the first year, 2.75 million the second year, 3.75 million the third and fourth years, and then 1.25 million the remaining four years. The Rangers would not be willing to pay up for the next 10 years.
Another option for Girardi is a trade. I believe this is unlikely for 3 reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, nobody wants him! Not many teams in the NHL would want to pick up an aging defenseman who is extremely overpaid. Secondly, Girardi has a modified no trade clause where he is able to select 15 teams where he can not be dealt, making the process more difficult. Lastly, management is likely going to try to preserve draft picks and prospects from here on out( at least lets hope they do), meaning they would not be able to package Girardi to another team.
The most likely scenario is that Dan Girardi is on the opening day roster come October. I know this isn’t what everyone wants to hear but it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Girardi was battling injuries all year and his game was affected, not making excuses for the guy but that can’t be easy to battle through. In order for the whole situation to be handled properly, AV must adjust his blind loyalty to some of his players. Dan Girardi needs to be on the 3rd line pairing come next year, period. He needs to have his playing time trimmed and prove to the coaches and fans that he can play sound hockey for an entire game. With that being said, I do think having another veteran defenseman to be able to guide Skjei and McIlrath (god willing) is a major benefit if we have to keep G around.
At least he gave us one of the best moments this past season: The Puck in the Visor
This has been one of the most discussed topics this off-season and I’m excited to see what is to come of it. Again, my prediction is G is on the ice come opening night. What is your prediction? Comment below with your answer, comments, or thoughts.
Lets Go Rangers!