New Girardi deal helps Rangers with organisational weakness

March 1, 2014, by
Girardi staying helps the Rangers look elsewhere long term. Photo Credit: US Presswire

Girardi staying helps the Rangers look elsewhere long term. Photo Credit: US Presswire

For several years the Rangers had a relatively steady flow of defensive prospects make it to the NHL through the system. Whether it was Michael Del Zotto, Marc Staal, Ryan McDonagh, Mike Sauer or Girardi himself, the Rangers were able to supplement the NHL roster with cost effective home grown talent. Recently, there have been concerns of the talent approaching the NHL level.

With the relatively slow progress made by Dylan McIlrath (who still has time on his side) and the unknown NHL projections of Brady Skjei and Calle Andersson, the Rangers don’t have the ability to promote from within. Perhaps Conor Allen aside, there is very little that could step up in short notice.

Aside from acquiring organisational continuity (and his obvious ability), Dan Girardi’s new deal helps the Rangers significantly in terms of organisational depth. Girardi allows the Rangers to exercise patience on the blueline. Andersson and Skjei in particular will not be rushed when they sign. Another season in Hartford wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing for McIlrath. Throwing Klein into the mix, the Rangers already have four quality NHL defensemen – all capable of significant minutes – locked into deals beyond this season so the Rangers can plan longer term.

Girardi’s deal allows the team to negotiate with Anton Stralman and John Moore from a position of strength. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi’s deals combined – based on market value – allow the Rangers some room to manoeuvre when looking to tie down Stralman, perhaps meaning their breaking point for a new deal for Stralman may be greater than it was prior. Retaining Girardi –and the recent acquisition of Klein– also offer the club some security when they eventually come to negotiating with the back-to-his-best Marc Staal over the next off-season.

The positive fall-out from the Girardi deal continues. Another benefit from retaining the veteran blueliner is the greater flexibility it affords Sather and co. when they come to deal with the upcoming 2014 NHL draft. Had Girardi sought pastures new, the club may have had to focus on another NHL defenseman with their top pick this summer.  Now, they are more likely to go best player available – always the safest option when negotiating the draft.

Ryan Callahan’s future may also influence organisational thinking come draft time, but no longer is the long term state of the defense a pressing concern. With fair market value achieved for both the Rangers and Girardi it seems the positives are both plentiful and wide reaching. Girardi’s deal bodes well for the long term.


  1. Walt says:

    The Girardi deal makes the defense that much stronger long term. I’m of the opinion that the Ranger organization’s strong suite is their defense, including the farm system. If Strahlman doesn’t re-sign, we have plenty of options to work with. Also, I believe that MaIlrath will be in Ranger blue sooner, rather than later.

    As for Callihan, I love the guy, would want to keep him for a reasonable price, but look at what Buffalo did yesterday. They gave up Miller, who arguably is more important to them, than is Callie to us. If he doesn’t re-sign, then a trade is forced, and we hopefully improve ourselves with that deal. I for one will wish Callie all the best, but once he leaves, he becomes the enemy!!!!!

  2. Gary says:

    As you imply in your excellent post Chris, this deal meant only… everything. It was much more important than the impending Cally situation.

    Girardi is as much a Ranger as Cally and Staal and is just that cog between suspect defense and shored up defense. You could just hear the collective groan here in Boston after the signing.

    Well done Sather.

    Now I hope for a surprise deal with Callahan, but don’t expect it. The publicized asking is way too high and w/ the D solidified and some of these forwards stepping up as key players I’d lean toward trading Cally for solid assets (even if less than 1-for-1 value is brought back in return.

  3. Puck Luck @Centerman21 says:

    Well I hope Sather knows how to spend the final $22 mil he has to field a team next year. $5 & $6 mil contracts run through that pretty quickly.

  4. Bloomer says:

    The Rangers still could use a game breaker offensive defenceman that can rush the puck and run the PP. They are hard to come by and the Rangers would have to move up in the draft to acquire one. Hard to do when you seldom have a 1st round pick to start with.

  5. FrankCerbone says:

    The Rangers should have at least 3 QUALITY NHL right & left handed NHL defensemen prospects in the 1st round available to them when their time comes to pick. That hasn’t been the case for over a decade. Even Gordie Clark can’t mess this one up, unless he goes for under sized Asian center Josh Hosang. Clark may pick Hosang, even though he is projected to go late in the 1st rd or early in the 2nd rd because he is headed to Boston College. And you just know Clark likes those New England kids.

    Ranger prospect & 1st rd pick Brady Skjei is either a 1st rd bust or 3rd pairing finesse defensive defenseman at best. 2nd rd pick Boo Nieves has regressed dramatically since high school and is now either a 3rd/4th liner type or not even a prospect anymore. 7 goals in his senior year in high school in 2011/12 over 26 gms, 2 goals in like 27 gms in his 2nd year of college this year. With no 2013 #1 & #2, and the 27th ranked NHL farm system Rangers need to both acquire picks & fire Gordie Clark.

    The 2014 NHL draft is strong, and the Rangers need to acquire a #1 or a #2 in addition to their own #1 & #2.

    Both Girardi & Klein are 30 and should be around for a while for the Rangers to draft a couple of defensemen in the 1st & 2nd rds.

    Staal & Moore on the left side look to have both plateaued and what you see is what you get players. Staal will be most likely gone in a year; probably to Carolina.

    • Mark says:

      I agree, although the Rangers also need to find a #1 Center at some point along with a dman that can shoot. Stepan is a good #2 Center.