Dan Girardi spent the first 11 years of his NHL career with the New York Rangers, but that all changed this summer when the team decided to buy out his contract. For those of us on the outside, the decision was a lot less surprising. Stay-at-home defensemen with big contracts are becoming more and more rare, so the fact that the Rangers wanted to move on from the inflated contract wasn’t exactly shocking for the average hockey fan. Still, being forced to leave the only team you’ve ever known couldn’t have been easy. Now, he’ll get the chance to suit up against his former team for the first time, on Thursday night. Most players pretend like this is just another game, but not Girardi, who told NHL.com that Thursday’s game is “still going to be weird” even though it’s being played in Tampa, not New York. The Lightning have more overall depth than the Rangers, so they’ve been able to use Girardi in a much more limited role than he had been playing with New York in the past. Between 2007-08 and 2015-16, the 33-year-old was averaging over 20 minutes of ice time per game. In his first season with the Bolts, he’s playing just 16:33 per game, which is probably just right for him at this stage of his career.
Former Ranger Dan Girardi ready for ‘weird’ game against old team
Pro Hockey Talk | Nov 2