Dan Girardi Announces Retirement After 13 Seasons

The former Ranger was a warrior during his NHL career.

Dan Girardi is calling it a career after 13 seasons.

Girardi announces his retirement after 927 regular games played, 788 of which came as a member of the New York Rangers. He finishes his career with 264 points, 1,913 blocked shots, 2,046 hits, and one All-Star Game appearance.

He also appeared in 143 playoff games, 122 of which came wearing a Rangers uniform. In those 122 games he tallied 33 points, including a run of 12 points in 20 games during a postseason campaign to the Eastern Conference Final in 2012.

The Welland, Ontario native was not drafted, and he made his debut in the organization during the 2005-06 season as a 21-year-old with the Hartford Wolf Pack. Girardi had a pretty average OHL career with 117 points in 231 games, but was given a shot by the Rangers which he certainly made the most of.

His AHL rookie season saw him appear in 66 games, and he posted a line of 8-31-39. The following year as a 22-year-old he appeared in 34 games with the Rangers during the 2006-07 season, and from that point on his was an NHL mainstay.

Girardi quickly became an important fixture on the blueline, and finished the 2007-08 season with 28 points while averaging 21:12 a game. This was the start of a nine-year run in which Girardi would log more than 20:00 a game, including a career high of 26:15 a game during the 2011-12 season. It was during this time that Marc Staal was dealing with the effects of post-concussion syndrome, and Girardi stepped up in an amazing way. He would do the same again when Staal was again sidelined after taking a puck to the eye the following season.

Girardi’s lasting impact is that of being a player who was tough as nails and truly gave everything he had on a nightly basis. There was no slap shot he wouldn’t put his body in front of, no player big enough to back down from, and he was the true embodiment of John Tortorella’s “Black and Blueshirts.”

The Rangers bought out Girardi’s contract following the 2016-17 season, and he appeared in 139 games with the Tampa Bay Lightning over two seasons. It was a tough decision for the organization to make given what he meant to the team as a veteran leader, but it was a business decision made well ahead of the release of the “letter.”

All in all, Girardi’s career was undoubtedly a tremendous success. He went undrafted but still found a way to play over 1,000 NHL games when you combine his time in the regular season and postseason. His time at the end of his career in New York wasn’t the greatest, but that shouldn’t overshadow his overall contributions to the organization.

Congratulations to Dan and his family on a successful career, and best of luck to him in his future endeavors.