Dan Girardi has been a keystone for the New York Rangers on defense for a while now, but 2011-12 was the first season in which the veteran blue-liner out of Ontario, Canada received league-wide recognition for his efforts. HBO's 24/7 helped with that, as did his spot in the 2012 NHL All-Star Game, the Winter Classic and of course the handful of votes for his name under the Norris Trophy category for the League's best defenseman. This may sound strange since Dan is 28-year-old, but this past season, all things considered, was his break-out year.
The Good: Dan Girardi is the Ryan Callahan of defensemen. He isn't flashy by any means, but boy is he an important player and does he ever put forth a 110-percent effort every night. His willingness to block shots coupled with the way he uses his body to slow down the most talented of opponents speaks to his dedication. He can be paired alongside the best or the worst on the team, but will still find ways to succeed and also bring the game of his partner up another notch as well.
Girardi may not have a loud voice (or he may, I really don't know), but he sure does know how to lead by example. He's the type of guy that, if you were his teammate, you'd take a bullet for him. His focus on the team and winning hockey games is evident in his every move, and that dedication and persistence rubs off on the younger guys, especially his partner, Ryan McDonagh.
Danny G is the all-around package on defense, to put it simply.
The Bad: The only knock on Girardi that I could come up with is his lack of offensive production. Just five goals and 29 overall points this past season had him pretty low on the depth chart in terms of scoring. One thing I've noticed with Dan is that he misses the net with his shot more often that not, especially when positioned at the point on the powerplay. It's possible that if he can fix that aspect of his game, maybe the offense will begin to come more naturally. You all know the Gretzky quote I'm thinking of right now, right?
Also, Girardi did have his moments in the postseason, more frequently than he did during the regular season. And when I say "moments", I am referring to blunders, penalties, turnovers and what not.
Highlight of the Year:
Overall Assessment: Although, in my opinion, Ryan McDonagh has surpassed Dan Girardi as the team's top defenseman, 'G' is still a vital part of this hockey club and right up there with McDonagh. Girardi represents what it means to be a Ranger, and plays with that certain grit and determination that defines this team. The best part is that he has only continued to get better with each passing season, so I'm expecting even bigger and better things in 2012-13.
The Rangers went ahead and signed depth forward Taylor Pyatt on Tuesday afternoon - a signing that could potentially pay off considering the 30-year-old's size and weight, coupled with his proven offensive ability. That fills a spot in the bottom six for the Blueshirts, but they are still in search for top six forwards who can help boost the team's goal production, especially...
The New York Rangers may have made three moves over the course of Sunday's opening of free agency in the NHL, but those three moves made them little progress in respect to what is needed by this club for the next season. The re-signing of Stu Bickel and additions of Arron Asham and Micheal Haley bring a degree of toughness to the team that they lost to the Montreal Canadiens...
As the third day of free agency begins, it’s hard to see how the Rangers have improved so far this summer.
GM Glen Sather has watched many of his depth players depart via free agency and has spent only $3.5 million total on a fourth-liner and a seventh defenseman.
But it’s a long offseason.
Sather remains engaged in trade talks with Columbus regarding 28-year-old left wing Rick...
After suffering a surprise exit in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals at the hands of the New Jersey Devils, the New York Rangers knew they needed to work out some kinks during the offseason. So far, the Blueshirts have placed an emphasis on getting tougher on the ice as they continue to retool the roster.
New York did lose Brandon Prust, who was one of their enforcers...
Press Release: New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent forward Taylor Pyatt. Pyatt, 30, skated in 73 games with the Phoenix Coyotes last season, registering nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points, along with 23 penalty minutes. He ranked fourth [...]
Brandon Prust learned a universal truth about the business of professional sports.
It is a business.
"It was a sad, crazy, mixed-emotion day," Prust said in a conference call Sunday to announce his signing of a four-year, $10 million unrestricted free agent contract with the Montreal Canadiens.
The Canadiens signed Colby Armstrong (one year, $1 million) and Francis Bouillon...
Via Darren Dreger, the Rangers have agreed to sign winger Taylor Pyatt to a two-year deal worth $1.55 million annually. The 30-year-old spent the last three seasons with the Coyotes, averaging 13-11-24 while playing in at least 73 games each year. Pyatt has also spent time with the Islanders, Sabres, and Canucks. I’ll leave the in-depth analysis up to our resident experts.
Arron Asham signed a two-year, $2 million contract with the New York Rangers over the weekend. The Pens re-signed him last June at a rate of $775,000 for one year of service, but the front office did not offer him anything this offseason. During his two year tenure with the Penguins, he tallied 10 goals and 17 assists.
Asham had previously played for the Islanders, Devils, Canadiens...
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