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Rangers’ Dan Girardi nominated for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi skates against

New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi skates against the Calgary Flames in the third period of an NHL game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi has been nominated for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, which recognizes perseverance, dedication and sportsmanship.

Girardi, 32, was selected in a vote by the New York chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Since his debut on Jan. 27, 2007, Girardi leads the NHL in blocked shots (1,674) and ranks 16th in the league in games played (781). He ranks ninth on the Rangers’ all-time games-played list and leads the franchise in postseason games played (110).

Girardi has four goals and eight assists, a plus-eight rating and 16 penalty minutes in 56 games this season. He is tied for second in the NHL in blocked shots per game (2.7) and leads the Rangers in that category. He is second on the team in blocked shots (149) and is tied for fourth in game-winning goals.

The alternate captain — popular with teammates for his tenacity, courage and sense of humor — has missed his longest stretch of time in a decade after being shut down with a severe ankle wound suffered from a blocked shot on Feb. 7. Girardi has played at least 80 games in seven seasons despite numerous injuries.

Girardi went undrafted in 2003 and signed a two-way deal with the Rangers in 2006. The Welland, Ontario native was called up from the AHL after an injury to Darius Kasparaitis and has been almost impossible to remove from the lineup since.

Five other Rangers have won the Masterton, which honors the Minnesota North Stars player who died on Jan. 15, 1968, after sustaining an injury in a game. Dominic Moore won in 2013-14, Adam Graves in 2000-01, Anders Hedberg in 1984-85, Rod Gilbert in 1975-76 and Jean Ratelle in 1970-71.

Each of the PHWA’s 30 chapters annually submit nominees.

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