As the offseason wears on, us and Matt Josephs of Blue Line Station (Twitter: 11Matt_Josephs8) will be running a tournament for the Best Ranger since the 2005 lockout. Yesterday we saw #7 Brad Richards barely squeak by #10 Martin Biron in overtime. Todayâ€™s matchup is #2 Dan Girardi vs. #15 Dmitri Kalinin.
Dan Girardi (acquired â€“ 2006 undrafted free agent)
Girardi is this teamâ€™s version of a Cinderella story. Signed as an undrafted free agent out of the OHLâ€™s Guelph Storm (and Ryan Callahanâ€™s teammate), Girardi was never a noted scorer, which is why he was never noticed. But the Rangers noticed him (presumably) while scouting Cally, and signed him to an AHL deal in the summer of 2005. They didnâ€™t sign him to an NHL contract until 2006 after impressing in the ECHL and AHL. After his deal, he played another 45 games in the AHL before sticking with the big club permanently.
Over the next six seasons, Girardi missed a total of just four (!!) games. When you take into account the minutes ...