Tampa Bay Lightning sign Dan Girardi to a 2-year contract

TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 18: Dan Girardi
TORONTO, ON - FEBRUARY 18: Dan Girardi /

The Tampa Bay Lightning announced earlier this afternoon the team has come to terms with New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi on a two-year deal.

Before the NHL Free Agency Period opened up this afternoon, there was a plethora of speculation as to who would find themselves in a Tampa Bay Lightning uniform. There were plenty of names being tossed around; everyone from Kevin Shattenkirk to a reunion with former Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brian Boyle

Ironically enough, neither one of those previously mentioned scenarios would come to pass. However, there was one rumor which made its way around the Bolts Nation that did come to pass this afternoon.

Tampa Bay Lightning Vice President and General Manager Steve Yzerman announced earlier via the Lightning’s official site the organization had come to terms with New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi on a two-year deal worth $3 million per season.

Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Lightning /

Tampa Bay Lightning

Dan Girardi may not be a solid two-way defenseman like Victor Hedman, but he definitely comes with a defensive upside for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Last season, Girardi led the New York Rangers in Blocked Shots with 166. Ironically enough, this is 34 more Blocked Shots than Victor Hedman had last season.

The one area Girardi seemed to fall behind in when compared to his Rangers teammates is in Hits. While Rangers defenseman Nick Holden led the way with 164 hits on the season, Girardi found himself in fourth place on the team with 107.

On the other side of the spectrum, had Girardi produced the same numbers last season as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning, he would have found himself in second place on the team, just barely beaten by Lightning defenseman Braydon Coburn.

Now, if you want to take a brief venture to the dark side, Girardi did have 46 giveaways last season. This may seem a little doom and gloom; especially when you take into account his 10 takeaways, creating a differential of -36.

At the same time, Victor Hedman had a total of 73 giveaways last season along with 39 takeaways, giving him a differential of -34. Suddenly, it is a bit easier to see things from another perspective.

Do we think Dan Girardi will be pairing up with Victor Hedman next season? No, probably not. In fact, if it were up to us, we’d be looking at a pairing of Victor Hedman and Jake Dotchin on the top line. However, we would not be disappointed to see Girardi paired up with Anton Stralman on the second line or even a third line with Braydon Coburn.

Of course, at this point, this is nothing more than conjecture and speculation. As of now, the start of the season is just over three months away. Once the preseason kicks into gear, Lightning fans will have a good idea of how things are going to shape up at the onset of the season.

Next: Lightning Trade Kristers Gudlevskis to Islanders

The Tampa Bay Lightning has been incredibly active ever since the doors swung open on the Free Agency period. Girardi’s signing isn’t the first move the Lightning have made today, and it certainly won’t be the last. The landscape is in the midst of a drastic shift at the moment. It’ll definitely be interesting to see how the team responds when they hit the ice in a few short months.