Over the last few seasons Dan Girardi has emerged as one of the best blue-liners on the team. He was absolutely stellar in the 2011-2012 season. He struggled a bit last year but was very solid otherwise. He was the definition of the Ranger’s shot-blocking mentality under John Tortorella. At the age of 29 he is an established veteran that is well respected around the league. So maybe it is the perfect time to trade Dan Girardi to get a lot back for him. A lot of fans would not be willing to give up on the defenseman that has been in blue since the 06-07 season. The reason I consider trading Dan Girardi is because of some factors that the Rangers will be thinking about in the next upcoming season. These factors are:
1) Contract- Dan Girardi is a UFA after the 2013-2014 season. When the season comes to an end he will be 30 years old, right in his prime. It is obvious that Girardi is going to want top dollars and term coming off the 4 year deal that will expire as soon as the season ends. That is going to cost the Rangers a ton of money and it will be very difficult to re-sign him if the cap does not go up a lot after next season. The Rangers also have to worry about the big contracts they are going to give Lundqvist and Callahan after this season. The Rangers may not have enough room to give Girardi the deal he wants next season.
2) Value- I believe Girardi’s value is the highest it will ever be as of now. Again he is an established veteran who is right in his prime. I cannot think of one team that would not be interested in Girardi. Every team always seems to be missing a blue-liner as well. They are incredibly valuable in this league and the Rangers would get a ton back for him if they were to trade him. They could even potentially trade Girardi to move up in the Draft today. A high pick could be coming the Rangers way if they are to move him or a very talented roster player.
3) Ability- Like I stated above most fans (and probably most of the organization for that matter) do not want to give up on the back bone of this
defense. But will Dan Girardi be as effective under Vigneault as he was under Tortorella? Tortorella had a very specific style and game-plan that Girardi fit perfectly. But if AV pushes the defense to play a more up-tempo game will Dan Girardi be just as good? Girardi is not one of the best skaters on defense nor is he exceptionally fast. Can that hurt him under a more offensive-minded coach? If Girardi remains a Blueshirt next season he will still be very good but is there a better player out there that may fit Vigneault’s system better than him? We will see how the Rangers feel about Dan Girardi in the upcoming days.