The New York Rangers are a team that has certain lynchpins that hold the whole thing together. When you think of those players Lundqvist, Callahan, Staal are the first three that come to mind for me. Obviously the work of Gaborik, Richards and Dubinsky are keys to success of the team along with continuing emergence of Ryan McDonagh and Michael Sauer defensively. The guy that is as big to the team as anyone is Dan Girardi.
If Ryan Callahan is the epitome of what the Rangers want to be as an identity, then Dan Girardi is right there with him. No player in the league blocks more shots than Girardi who every game is seemingly limping at least twice from a blocked shot but continues to return to the ice on his next shift. He has done this as a top pair defender on the Rangers for the past three seasons without the proper recognition, at least outside of the locker room. He is the unquestioned leader of the defense corps that is surviving the loss of All-Star Marc Staal for an indefinite amount of time. In Staal's absence this year, Girardi has taken his game to another level leading the league in ice time (27:58), while chipping in seven points (2G, 5A) and doing his normal thing blocking shots (34) and hitting the opposition (27).
Yet with all that Girardi has done and is doing this season there is no recognition of him inside Madison Square Garden in terms of merchandise in the team store. It might seem silly to worry about something like that, but with all that Girardi has done for this team you would think that the stands could stand to have few less Lundqvist, Callahan or Dubinsky shirts/jersey's and a few more Girardi. I do not begrudge anyone of their favorite player, but it is time we start giving Girardi some love commensurate with the work he puts in for us.
From what I have been told, the reason that no Girardi merchandise is available in the stores at MSG is because it is not a requested item by the fans. Time for us to change that fact. Making that happen is very simple. Next time you are at MSG for a Rangers game take a few minutes to walk into a store and tell someone working there that you are requesting the Rangers start making Dan Girardi apparel. If you want go ahead and ask for some other players as well since McDonagh, Sauer, Anisimov, and the best backup in the league Martin Biron deserve some love as well, but in my opinion at least Girardi not having one at this point is simply wrong.
I created a facebook page just so you can share it with friends and fellow Rangers fans to spread the word in order to get Girardi a little piece of recognition that he deserves showing we respect all he does on the ice.