2. Buying out Dan Girardi
This was one of the earliest moves made by the Rangers this offseason. Dan Girardi had been a member of the team for 11 years. However, his play had diminished significantly since he re-signed his contract.
The Rangers had signed Girardi to a six-year deal and had $3 million annually tied up in his contract. The choice to part ways with Girardi alongside the choice to move Raanta opened up the space to sign Kevin Shattenkirk as a free agent.
Here is a HERO Statistics chart, which compares important on-ice statistics such as goals, first assists, shot generation and shot suppression. Here is a comparison between Girardi and Shattenkirk.
This allowed the Rangers room in the cap to overhaul and solidify aid in front of Henrik Lundqvist who has seemingly carried the defense for the last few seasons.