NY Sports Day
Joe Soccoa

Soccoa: Dan Girardi Remains The New York Rangers Ironman

Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire

All it takes is one playoff series and excellent play to forget about the fact people have bashed veteran defenseman Dan Girardi over the last two years. It’s funny how things work here in New York and their sports teams. Let’s face it, if you stink, the New York fans will let you know. If you’re good, they’ll give you high praise.

Girardi has been a man under the microscope the last two seasons for the New York Rangers. It was only a matter of time before a decline would come for the Rangers iron man who played in almost every single regular season game from the moment he came up to the club in 2006-2007 until some injuries slowed him down in 2015-2016. In the span from 2007-2008 to 2015-2016, Girardi missed a total of three regular season games. Three. Eight years, three games missed.

That isn’t to mention the amount of playoff games also played within that span (112). Then the one year he has a down year, people began bashing him and the contract Glen Sather, Rangers general manager at the time gave him. After an incredible three seasons, Sather rewarded Girardi with a 6 year contract worth $33 million. At the time it was the right thing and the right value due to performance and ability to stay on the ice for nearly 82 games in the regular season. The thing about New York and their fans is one bad year, they’ll quickly turn on you.

Now, Dan Girardi is getting high praise from those same hypocrites who once bashed him and that includes people within the media. I’m not afraid to call those people out because when you sit back and watch the guy and you speak to the guy, he doesn’t deserve the negative press nor reaction he got the past two seasons. When you go from playing every game and blocking shot after shot at least a handful of times per game, the guy deserves to rest and have a bad year. He deserves everything he has gotten including the contract he rightfully earned.

In what seems like to be his final season in New York according to speculations of a possible buyout in the offseason, Girardi is showing us the Girardi of old and the Girardi everyone grew to love before they turned their backs on him. I for one have always supported the man who has been one of a handful of Rangers that consistently was on the ice for all 82 games. Girardi should always have a special place in Rangers fans hearts including the games that he took beatings and never missed a shift for it.

If this is the last time we see Dan Girardi in a Rangers sweater, then we must thank him for everything he has done for this franchise and for all the black and blues he sacrificed his body for to help the team win. We look at players in other sports who have played consistently and who have been marked as iron men include Cal Ripken Jr., Lou Gehrig and you can add Dan Girardi to the list of iron men for their sport.


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