Dan Girardi joins Lightning — two years, $6 million


After having his contract bought out by the New York Rangers earlier this offseason veteran defenseman Dan Girardi has a new home.

He signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday to join their blue line.

Once one of the NHL’s steadiest defensive defenseman, Girardi’s game has declined significantly in recent seasons and it finally reached a point in New York where his contract was not matching his play on the ice. So the two sides had to move in different directions. If the Lightning are able to shelter him in a more limited role they still might be able to get something useful out of him.

He appeared in 63 games for the Rangers this past season, scoring four goals and adding 11 assists while still playing close to 20 minutes per night.

With Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman playing the biggest minutes, the Lightning won’t need Girardi to be more than a bottom-pairing defender.

They needed to add some depth to their blue line (and still do — they only have five NHL defensemen under contract for this season) but whether or not Girardi can give them what they are looking for remains to be seen.