Since the NHL began keeping track of the blocked shots statistics in 2006, no NHL defenseman has been credited with more than former Rangers and Lightning D Dan Girardi (1,954).
One of the most underrated players of his time period, Dan Girardi made a career of being the prototype for an NHL defenseman and was beloved by everybody he played with. Funnily enough, Girardi wasn’t even drafted despite having a very solid season in the OHL. He took it upon himself to be his own agent and contacted numerous teams, and eventually the New York Rangers took a low-risk flyer on Girardi and signed him to a developmental deal. He became one of the faces of their franchise.
Per NY Rangers Stats & Info on Twitter, no skater has played in more Stanley Cup Playoff game than Girardi (122). He became the Rangers’ permanent alternate captain in 2014, while he and Ryan McDonagh were one of the leagues’ premiere duos in sports’ biggest market.
He and McDonagh then reunited in another uniform—The Tampa Bay Lightning, where Girardi spent the final 2 years of his playing career. He was a big piece for the Bolts’ this past year as they had the most wins in NHL history.
An All-Star that most organizations didn’t think had a shot of making it, Girardi defied the odds for an exceptional 11-year career, and now hangs it up at 35 years of age.
“I gave my all every single night and it all out on the ice. Now, it’s time for the next chapter of my life to begin and I couldn’t be happier…and so is my body.”
We here at PSE would love to congratulate Girardi on a marvelous career.
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(Photo credit: Lightning)