The New York Rangers announced on Wednesday that they will buy out the remaining contract of longtime defenseman Dan Girardi.
Girardi spent 11 years with the team and developed into one of the most serviceable blueliners in franchise history.
His 788 games played for the organization ranks fifth among all defensemen and ninth all-time in the Rangers' record books. Harry Howell, Brian Leetch, Ron Greschner and Jim Neilson are the only Rangers defensemen to appear in more games.
"Dan’s contributions to the New York Rangers organization have been immeasurable,” Rangers president Glen Sather said. “He has been a role model through his relentless determination, giving everything he had to this organization both on and off the ice."
“I would like to thank Dan for everything he has given of himself to the Rangers over 11 seasons,” New York general manager Jeff Gorton said. “He has been one of the key contributors to our success over the past decade. We have the utmost respect for Dan and wish him all the best going forward.”
Girardi was a part of 10 postseason runs with the Rangers, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2014 against the Los Angeles Kings.
The 33-year-old was owed $10 million over the final three years of his contract with the Blueshirts and released this statement shortly after learning that he was being bought out:
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the New York Rangers organization for giving me the opportunity to fulfill my childhood dream of playing in the National Hockey League. I would also like to thank James Dolan, Glen Sather, Jim Schoenfeld, Jeff Gorton, John Rosasco, Jason Vogel, all of the coaches and front office staff, Jim Ramsay and his amazing training staff, the equipment staff, and all the Madison Square Garden employees for making my past 11 years so special.
I have spent one-third of my life as a New Yorker and as a New York Ranger. New York will always be our second home. I started my family here, got married to my wife Pam, and had our two children, Landon and Shaye. We have been fortunate to meet so many great people and our kids have made so many friends.
I also wanted to thank all of the Blueshirt faithful. You are one of the best and most passionate fan bases in the NHL. I appreciate your support over the years.
I poured my heart and soul into this team for the past 11 seasons and I enjoyed every minute of it. I want to acknowledge that the Rangers are a first class organization who have always treated our players in a first class fashion. My family and I are most grateful for the way we have been treated during our stay in New York.
Lastly, I want to acknowledge how great it has been to play alongside all of my teammates, including some Hall of Famers, for the past 11 years. I am going to miss all of the friends I have made along the way, but my family and I are looking forward to the next chapter in our lives. I wish the Rangers good luck and success in the future.