Late Monday evening, Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants reported that restricted free agent defenseman Dan Girardi has filed for salary arbitration with the New York Rangers. It is likely that the Blueshirts will strike a deal with the 26-year-old defenseman before the arbitration date, which will be determined by the NHLPA on Tuesday, but for now their qualifying offer has been rejected.
Gross also mentioned that Girardi is looking for a four year deal that would pay him approximately $3 million per. For me, based on what Dan brings to the lineup, I would prefer to have him locked up for $2.5 million, but if it comes down to it, the extra cash will not hurt too much. If there is a common middle ground, though, I would expect $2.5 M to be it.
More after the jump.....
Girardi played all 82 games last season with the Rangers, and during that span recorded a total of 24 points and had a minus-2 rating on the year. His play was a bit cyclic in that he was not as consistent as he would have liked to be. That being said, I feel that "Danny G" is either overrated by the fanbase, or underrated. There really is no in-between when his name comes up in conversation. Personally, I view the Ontario native as a stable stay-at-home blue-liner. He is nothing flashy, but he is not a weakness out there either.
That stable stay-at-home blue-liner should not receive anything more than $3 million per year, otherwise general manager Glen Sather would be overpaying for limited services. Girardi is not overly physical and he lacks heavily in the offensive end of things. That will all be factored in when/if the arbitrator makes their decision.
Also, fans are a bit bitter when it comes to Girardi since he did not come to the defense of offensive star Marian Gaborik when he was challenged by Daniel Carcillo of the Philadelphia Flyers last January. That is a huge mark that Girardi cannot erase, even though it may have been forgotten about in the locker room. I am sure that is something Dan greatly regrets, but guess what, that does not make up for any past mistakes.
Also, Marc Staal, Girardi's usual partner on the blue-line, remains unsigned but is not eligible for arbitration. The Rangers have given him a qualifying offer as well, but that is nowhere near what Marc is seeking. He is expected to eventually re-sign, however.