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Dan Girardi, former Rangers defenseman, retires from the Lightning

New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi during a

New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi during a game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Former Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Dan Girardi announced his retirement from the NHL after 13 seasons.

Girardi appeared in 927 games, finishing with 56 goals and 264 points and a plus-78 ratings. He also played in 143 playoff games, four Eastern Conference Finals and one Stanley Cup Final over 11 seasons with the Rangers and two with the Lightning.

The 35-year-old defenseman entered the league with New York as an undrafted free agent in 2006 and appeared in 788 regular-season games with the Rangers. He signed with Tampa Bay as a free agent in 2017. No player has more blocked shots than Girardi’s 1,954 — nearly 1,700 of them with the Rangers — since the NHL began keeping track in the 2005-06 season.

“I gave my all every single night and left it all out on the ice," Girardi said in a statement. “Now it’s time for the next chapter of my life to begin and I couldn't be happier . . . and so is my body.”

Marc Staal, Girardi’s longtime defense partner with the Rangers, spoke to Girardi before the announcement.

“Just in talking to him, I mean, I think he's, he's at peace," Staal said. "He's happy with it, he's very excited about it. I was happy for him, and, you know, he gets to carry on with the rest of the life and not take slapshots to the ankles anymore. So I'm sure he's looking forward to that."


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