Dan Girardi
Dan Girardi
35-Year-Old DefensemanD
Tampa Bay Lightning
2018 Fantasy Outlook
The Welland Wonder got the scare of his life on Jan. 7, 2018 when he blocked a slap shot with the back of his neck. He went numb for a second as he laid face down on the ice. Thankfully, Girardi was able to get up off the ice with help and remarkably only missed two games. It didn't change his approach to shot blocking, which is the one fantasy category he delivers. Girardi's game is on the decline and he certainly won't deliver offense. But he can help you if you need 150 blocked shots from your last roster spot. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Lightning in July of 2017.
Struggles with increased role
DTampa Bay Lightning
April 17, 2019
Girardi finished the 2018-19 playoffs with no points, four PIM and a minus-2 rating in four games.
Girardi's game has slowed. And with Victor Hedman and Anton Stralman out with injuries, he was forced into a bigger role than perhaps he could handle. Especially with the aggressive forecheck of the Blue Jackets. Girardi is a free agent this offseason and he will need to take a financial haircut to stay with the Bolts. Even if he does, Girardi isn't a fantasy option.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Bought out by the Rangers after yet another season of declining utility, Girardi was snatched up in free agency by the Lightning, who somewhat surprisingly gave him $3 million per year for two seasons. That's not cheap for a one-dimensional blueliner who’s experienced declines in even his finest attributes (hits and blocked shots) while seeing his point total drop for three years running. He fell short of 20 minutes of average ice time for the first time in a decade, and it’s unclear how the 33-year-old’s body -- which has officially absorbed 1,650 puck impacts (and probably many more than that) over the course of his career -- will respond if the Lightning try to utilize him as heavily as the Rangers did back in the day. Most fantasy owners can simply ignore him.
Last season was a mixed bag for Girardi, who often looked like he’d lost a step and was making bad decisions on defense while posting his worst offensive total in years – and yet posted a career-best plus-18 rating. His 17 points were a career low for a full season, as was his total of 77 shots, and his average ice time declined by more than two minutes, reflecting coach Alain Vigneault’s declining trust in the veteran blueliner. Unfortunately, the Rangers are stuck with Girardi and his absurd $5.5 million cap hit for four more seasons, so the plodding blueliner will remain a fixture at Madison Square Garden, if not in many fantasy lineups.
Girardi has been a rock on the Rangers' blue line for the better part of the last decade, and he's set to remain in that role for the next several years. Despite the fact that the undrafted veteran is capable of jumping into the play as well as taking some wicked shots from the point, he generally makes his hay in the defensive zone, allowing Ryan McDonagh the freedom to venture deep. Those in fantasy leagues that count hits and blocked shots know Girardi's real-life value -- unfortunately, in more standard formats, Girardi's meager offensive output and lack of PIM often doesn't play.
Aside from his impending unrestricted free agency heading into last season, Girardi represented all that was dependable defensively on the Rangers’ blue line, with just a splash of offensive output to boot. While we hesitate to blame the sizable contract extension (six years, $33 million) he would ultimately receive at the trade deadline, Girardi ended up closing the season on a low note, delivering one of the more tumultuous postseasons the eight-year veteran has experienced in his career. In addition to the possibility of his defensive struggles during last year's Stanley Cup Finals carrying over into the 2014-15 campaign and impacting his usually positive plus/minus rating, Girardi’s so-so scoring production (he has a career-high of 31 points in a season) limits his fantasy upside to little more than that of a late-round backup plan on the blue line.
Girardi is coming off a down season and not just because of the number in his lockout shortened points column. He still managed 14 points (two goals, 12 assists), 102 hits and 125 blocks in just 46 games. But for the first time since 2009-10, he ended the season with a negative plus-minus (minus-1). The undrafted Ontario native is one of several blue-liners in New York capable of producing 30 points or more in a full season. He's less likely to be on fantasy wish lists than his teammates Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh and Marc Staal, so feel confident about Girardi's upside if your targeted middle-to-late round defenseman is already off the board.
Girardi had an extremely successful 2011-12 campaign as he fell two points short of his career-high 29 from last season, finishing fourth among all players in average time-on-ice. The 28-year-old will again anchor the Blueshirts' top defensive pairing in 2012-13 with Ryan McDonagh and should be able to maintain his spot among the league's ice-time leaders. Girardi's assists and plus-minus rating have been on the rise over the last two seasons, and he should provide an excellent return for fantasy owners that are willing to spend a mid-to-late round pick on him. Those in leagues that reward secondary categories such as hits and blocked shots will want to target Girardi earlier than usual, as, like his teammate Ryan Callahan, Girardi will be among the league leaders in those categories.
The last two years Girardi has paired with Marc Staal, representing one of the top defensive tandems in the league. The Rangers' offense should be a little more consistent with Brad Richards' arrival and the maturation of the team's younger skaters. As a result, it should be realistic for the blueliner to return to the 30-35 point range, putting him on the map as a fourth option at his position in standard leagues. Fantasy owners involved in pools that give defensive points have extra incentive to nab Girardi, as the two-way defender picked up 195 hits and 236 blocks last season alone.
Girardi’s 2009-10 season got off to a bang when he tallied three goals and two assists in his first seven games. However, Girardi’s numbers ended up right on par with his previous season – he finished the year with just six goals and 18 assists while playing in all 82 games for the Rangers. While Marc Staal and Girardi are clearly the future on the blue line for the Blueshirts, the 26-year-old just doesn’t possess enough offensive skill to deserve a fantasy roster spot in most leagues. Girardi doesn’t see much time on the power play, and while his 10 goals from three years ago might look promising, he is clearly a defensive-minded blueliner, so temper any expectations. Bank on the hard-hitting defenseman to finish the upcoming season with around 5-8 goals, close to 30 points, and over 50 penalty minutes.
Girardi played in all 82 games for the second season in a row last year, but his numbers didn't reflect any progress from his rookie year for the 25-year old. He lost six goals from two years ago and we went from an even +/- to a minus-14. Barring an unexpected breakthrough, it looks like we've see Girardi near the top of his game already. He'll likely hold steady being in just his mid-20s, but don't expect a big uptick in production.
Girardi scored 10 goals and accumulated 28 points in 82 games for the Rangers last season. Not someone you would key on, but might be worth a reserve spot late in your draft.
Girardi came up during the season for a quick look and has stuck on the big club ever since. He's steady defensively and won't make many mistakes; attributes in which the Rangers absolutely love about him. Although he isn't guaranteed a roster spot coming into this year, he'll definitely have a leg up after proving that he can hang with the big boys and not get rattled by the pressures of New York. In 34 games in 2006-07, Girardi recorded six assists, eight PIMs and a plus-7 on even strength.
While with the Wolfpack this season, Girardi has recorded eight goals, 31 assists for 39 points in 66 games played, and has amassed 44 PIMs and has been resposible in his defensive zone, posting a plus-14 rating.
More Fantasy News
Returning to action Saturday
DTampa Bay Lightning
April 5, 2019
Girardi (lower body) will rejoin the lineup for the regular-season finale Saturday against the Bruins, Joe Smith of The Athletic reports.
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Joins in on practice Thursday
DTampa Bay Lightning
Lower Body
April 4, 2019
Girardi was on the ice for practice Thursday for the first time since suffering a lower-body injury March 7, Lightning radio analyst Caley Chelios reports.
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Likely done for regular season
DTampa Bay Lightning
Lower Body
March 25, 2019
Girardi (lower body) is doubtful for the remainder of the regular season but coach Jon Cooper is hopeful that the veteran blueliner will be available for the playoffs, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
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Out indefinitely
DTampa Bay Lightning
Lower Body
March 20, 2019
Girardi (lower body) appears to have suffered a setback and is out indefinitely, Bryan Burns of the Lightning's official site reports.
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Still unfit to play
DTampa Bay Lightning
Lower Body
March 18, 2019
Girardi (lower body) will not play against the Coyotes on Monday, Erik Erlendsson of LightningInsider.com reports.
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