Dan Girardi has signed a six-year contract extension to remain with the New York Rangers the team announced. According to multiple reports including by TSN's Darren Dreger, the deal is worth $33 million. Girardi was expected to be dealt if the Rangers could not reach an agreement with the veteran defenseman, but it looks like he will be staying put.
6 years, $5.5 per for Girardi staying with Rangers.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 28, 2014
Girardi's deal represents a raise of more than $2 million annually, from his expiring contract. The 29-year-old rearguard has been with the Rangers for the entirety of his eight-year NHL career.
This season, Girardi has appeared in 60 games with New York and has posted 17 points, while averaging 22:40 of ice time. He is also one of the Rangers' top penalty-killing defensemen. Girardi is known for his shot blocking and physical play.
Girardi's being locked up by the Rangers takes one of the top defensemen believed to be available off the trade market ahead of March 5's deadline. For the Rangers, this takes them out of the uncomfortable position of dealing away a key piece of their defensive corps in the middle of a playoff push.
It is a rich deal for a primarily defensive defenseman, but Girardi is an integral part of the Rangers' blue line. Though he would have commanded a nice return in any trade, the Rangers have stability on the back end for the next few years.
Girardi has posted 171 points over 548 games played in New York.
All eyes now turn to captain Ryan Callahan, who the Rangers are likely to deal unless they can also get him under contract.