New York Rangers’ Trade Deadline Determines Dan Girardi’s Future

The popular belief among New York Rangers fans and pundits is that Dan Girardi will be bought out after the season. However, there is plenty more to the story. This year’s Trade Deadline will determine Girardi’s future with the Rangers. See how, here.

The New York Rangers are not obligated to buy-out Dan Girardi as of today. Given the lack of recent rumblings, they will not be obligated to do so tomorrow. While most believe Girardi will receive a buy-out after the season, a major ingredient is misunderstood.

Last year, it made sense for the Rangers to buy-out Girardi. Financially, the team needed the help. On the ice, Girardi’s play warranted a buy-out. However, the Rangers opted not to buy him out.

This year, it makes sense for the Rangers to buy-out Girardi. Financially, the team needs the help. On the ice, Girardi’s play warrants a buy-out. However, the Rangers play him on the top pair.

Thus, the worries begin. The Rangers need a driving force for their potential buy-out of Girardi. The assumption has always been that would be the Expansion Draft, but there is more to that story. Let’s dive in.

Expansion Draft Details:

New York must protect seven forwards, three defensemen, and a goalie. The seven forwards and the goalie are irrelevant for this article, so let’s focus on the defense.

The popular belief spoke towards Girardi being bought out, Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal being protected (Staal due to a no-movement clause) and an acquired third defenseman being protected. New York is missing one piece of that puzzle.

At some point in time it became lost that the Rangers never acquired that top pair defenseman. Perhaps it was assumed they would because of how obvious it has been that they need one, but it hasn’t happened. Now, rather than needing to protect an acquired defenseman, the Rangers have a third protection slot open.

Trade Deadline Decisions:

The Rangers have time to acquire a top defenseman. Kevin Shattenkirk has not been moved yet, and if the Rangers acquire him they will likely wish to protect and extend him. Jacob Trouba could be moved, or an Anaheim Ducks defenseman may be acquired.

In any of those scenarios, the Rangers end up needing that third protection slot. Thus, Dan Girardi must be bought out.

However, the rumors are not as hot as expected at this point. New York is by no means guaranteed to acquire a defenseman, leaving open the possibility Girardi can slide into that third protection slot.

All in all, whether or not Girardi is protected or bought-out will depend on if the Rangers make a move for a long-term investment defenseman. Unless….

Final Option:

Unless the Rangers wait until after the season, and trade for a defenseman then. There will be plenty of trades after the season ends, but very little time. New York finding a partner for a trade and buying out Girardi in a short span is not something to bank on.

It is possible, however, so all hope is not lost once the Trade Deadline passes.

Still, when all is said and done, the Trade Deadline will likely determine Dan Girardi’s future with the New York Rangers. March 1st can’t come soon enough….