Last season, NHL Defenseman Dan Girardi was at a crossroads in his career. After an 11-year career with the New York Rangers, Girardi was being “bought out” by the team. Girardi knew he still had a lot left in the tank, so he signed a 2-year, $6 million contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Of course, for the Rangers it was strictly a business decision. Injuries and the speed of the game have taken their toll on Girardi, per Yahoo Sports Tampa Bay.
Even though Girardi believes he did not leave New York on the best terms, he is a man on a mission. He is seeking to prove that even though his ice time has decreased significantly from 2012 on he can still be competitive for his new term. Even though he only received 26 minutes per game in 2011 and then had that number drop to 25:24, 23:07, 22:41, 20:19 and then 19:06, the Lightning believe that with the right young players around him Girardi can still be an asset to his new team.
Simply put, Girardi is hungry. He has recuperated well from his injuries and continues to train each and every day for his new role with the Lightning. He is on record for saying that he feels “100% great.” Ask Girardi, and he will tell you that there are definitely advantages and disadvantages to staying with one team for a long period. Unfortunately, the trap one can fall in is getting into “cruise control” and getting used to things the way they are.
Now that Girardi has something to prove, we can expect that his productivity numbers will go up, not down. Tampa Bay Lightning fans can definitely look forward to some productive play from Girardi. It is truly the Ranger’s loss.