Life is full of decisions. You make decisions every day, and so do I. So do NHL general managers. The difference? Their decisions are being watched, judged and commented on by millions of people. Ours (for the most part) aren't. And when your hockey team happens to play in one of the biggest markets in the world, well, everything becomes a big deal eventually.
That's probably why the Dan Girardi trade rumors continue to surface. Well, that and the fact that it makes some sense.
A couple of days ago, Larry Brooks opened the floodgates by writing about an idea that's been discussed (albeit quietly) amongst Rangers fans the past few weeks. Are the Rangers willing to commit to a player like Girardi for the long haul? Should they be willing to lock him up long-term? Will the team want to keep him for a playoff run and risk losing him for nothing/significantly diminish his trade value if they do decide to move him before the draft because they can't agree on a new pact?
In the article, Brooks writes the following:
Sather must perform his due diligence and be aggressive about it. Girardi, who doesn't turn 30 until late April, is as high-end a rental property as has gone on the market since Ilya Kovalchuk in 2010, if not Marian Hossa in 2008. The Rangers have every right - and every obligation - to demand a package of two "A" prospects, maybe already in the NHL or maybe not, plus a draft pick in return for Girardi.
Everyone assumes the Bruins, who lost Dennis Seidenberg to a season-ending knee injury in late December, will put in a call on Girardi. They haven't yet. But there's no reason why Sather (or, alternately, assistant GM Jeff Gorton) shouldn't call Boston's Peter Chiarelli to give him first crack at Girardi if the price is right.
He also goes on to speculate the Anaheim Ducks to be a prime target for Girardi as well, while mentioning Los Angeles and San Jose as other potential trade targets.
I know a lot of you don't take Brooks' word for gospel, and many of you dismiss his trade whirling's as nothing more than a grab at page views. I will remind you that Brooks is about as well connected as a beat reporter can be, however. But if that's not enough for you maybe this will be: Elliotte Friedman (who I consider one of the best hockey writers out there) also connected the Girardi dots to Boston and Anaheim.
12. The Rangers also have a big decision to make on Dan Girardi, who is an unrestricted free agent. Multiple sources believe Anaheim, with legit Stanley Cup aspirations, is interested and he'd be a very nice fit there. Same with Boston, now that Dennis Seidenberg is out. The Bruins want to take a look at internal options, but have a great shot in the weaker East.
If Friedman is going on the record about this there's obviously some smoke. Whether or not there is fire is a different story, but you get the point, something is going on. If Brooks' assumption that the Rangers can acquire two "A" prospects plus a picks is true then I'm not too sure I see the hang up. Right now, the Rangers aren't a Stanley Cup contender. I think we're all in agreement about that.
So something needs to change. Losing Girardi would be a major blow, I'm not trying to say it wouldn't be. But Girardi's style of play doesn't lend itself to a career that sees him play until he's 40. And if the Rangers have to lock up the 29-year-old this summer, assume it would be a deal that takes him well into his 30's. So if the Rangers can move him for a prime defensive and forward prospect aren't they protecting themselves in some way? Aren't they setting themselves up for the future?
Glen Sather needs to take a hard look at this situation. He's going to have to do the same thing with Ryan Callahan, but right now Girardi seems to be soaking up the trade-rumor spotlight. What he does will be what we judge him on. It's just a decision, right?
Except we'll all be watching.
Also, Friedman also mentioned the following in his story:
11. As the Michael Del Zotto saga crawls towards its conclusion, wonder if San Jose is a "stealth" team in all of this. Last year, the Sharks scouted him pretty closely as the two teams talked trade (Ryane Clowe was eventually dealt to Manhattan). Couldn't hurt for a young defenceman to learn under Larry Robinson.
Just something to keep in mind.