The New York Rangers wrapped up 26-year-old defenseman Dan Girardi today. Going by the cap hits and term listed at CapGeek.com, it could be a four-year deal worth $13.3 million with an annual cap hit of $3.325 million. (CapGeek notes that the financial details are not yet official, so the numbers might be a bit off. Still, it should be a good estimate.) This allows the two sides to avoid salary arbitration.
Girardi played quite a bit at Madison Square Garden in his young career. He appeared in 280 games during four seasons, including all 82 games the last three seasons in a row. Since becoming a steady starter in the 2007-08 season, he’s put solid totals together with 28, 22 and 24 points.
There’s an interesting divide within the Rangers defensive corps. On one end, you have two aging, wildly overpaid defensemen in Wade Redden and Michal Rosival. Girardi bridges the gap of the other group of fairly promising (if raw) young blueliners that includes Matt Gilroy and Mike Del Zotto. (I put the screws to Chris Drury last season for blasting the team’s “immature” players, considering the fact that … you know, Drury has one of the worst contracts in the league.)
If the details of that deal are correct, than I also feel a lot better about the kind of offer sheet the Sharks reportedly sent to Niklas Hjalmarsson. It’s clear that the going rate for a solid defenseman keeps climbing this summer.