I’m one of those Rangers fans that dislikes Dan Girardi. It could be more than he deserves, but I have been really frustrated with him recently, because the team loves high-priced people who aren’t living up to their salaries. With four years left on his contract and $5.5 million on the cap, there was apparently talk of buying out his contract. Alas, the decision was no, according to the New York Post. Honestly, though, a buyout would have been kind of dumb, which I’ll explain.
To (try to) be fair to Girardi, he was playing with a cracked kneecap and that had to have real impact. There is no way he would have declined so drastically from year to year. However, I wasn’t too happy with the season before- not for 5.5 million. One other thing that I will acknowledge, is that Girardi isn’t the deadest weight on the team at all. That is going to have to be Nash or Staal (pick one). Girardi is at least well-liked and not a distraction, other than when the team needs to pay for more helpful people.
I’m assuming the Rangers like Girardi and that’s why he is staying around, at least until is no-move clause turns into a no-trade clause next year (I suppose he could waive his NMC if he wanted). But even though I don’t like Girardi, I think a buyout would have been a terrible decision. We would have to eat a cap hit for that buyout, and we really only have to wait one more year if we want to offload Girardi.
And we might not want to- he could have a magical off-season and come back and really surprise everyone. Any Rangers fan right now is hoping for a magical resurgence of a few guys, for sure. But we do have young talent on the team which I think we need to pay more attention to. Guys like JT Miller and Oscar Lindberg need to stick around. The Hayes/Kreider folks should probably stick around and hopefully take the next step. I’m also more interested in Dylan McIlrath than Girardi or Staal.
But it is what it is. While we carry these low-value contracts, though, we will keep missing out on people that we couldn’t afford or were unwilling to give complete chances to. Those are the players like Hagelin (deservedly going to the Stanley Cup Finals w/Pitt), Stralman (now better than Yandle), and Duclair (was the best prospect and now has blossomed).
Here’s to hope for the magical off-seasons and resurgences.