RALEIGH, N.C. -- For his co-operation with the media this season, defenseman Dan Girardi was the recipient of the John Halligan Good Guy Award by the members of the New York Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.
Girardi, 28, is in his seventh season with the Rangers. He leads the team and is among the top five in the NHL in blocked shots and top ten in time on ice. Girardi has two goals and 12 assists in 44 games.
After practice today, Girardi took his time to dress and seemed surprised by the media attention, and naturally, deadpanned his first answer from the scrum.
"I just do my job as a player," he said.
I happen to think that Girardi's personality and comfort level in public changed with the portayals of he and his wife and son in HBO's 24/7 before the Winter Classic. It showed him in a different light, away from the rink, and his sense of humor.
Today he said he was more at ease in front of the notebooks and mikes, and as a veteran, felt more responsibility to answer queries about the team.
"No matter win or lose, I’ve got to be in the room after a game to answer what happened and definitely as the years go on here, I feel I have more responsibility to do that, answer the questions...The more you play here, the more I get to know you guys and kinda feel comfortable that way, I just answer the questions when they’re asked, and always try to take a pretty positive answer or make it kinda funny."
The last five winners were Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan, co-winners Erik Christensen/Vinny Prospal, Tom Renney, and Henrik Lundqvist. No player, or coach, can win the award twice.