Last week there were reports that Dan Girardi‘s agent and New York Rangers GM Glen Sather were going to meet sometime this week to negotiate a contract extension for Girardi, who is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season.
Well, obviously those plans fell through as there was no reported meeting of the two sides. However, reports have just surfaced that a meeting will take place sometime next week. Should Rangers fans be concerned of this delay and both sides not seeing eye to eye?
In all honesty, I do not think so because I believe Sather values Girardi more than captain Ryan Callahan, who is also an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season. This is because of Girardi’s position and durability. Girardi is a right handed defenseman, which is hard to come by as is, and he accumulates tons of minutes per game and is not injury prone.
On the other side of the coin, Callahan is a gritty winger who blocks shots and occasionally scores goals. Yes, Callahan is the captain of the Rangers, but if you think about it, Girardi is actually more valuable and Sather knows this.
The limited availability of right handed, durable defensemen will cause Sather to make Girardi his first priority and get a deal done with him before Callahan. Not to mention, Girardi wants a five or six year contract worth in the $5-6 million range while Callahan wants a seven year deal close to $7 million per season.
With the rarity of a Girardi type player in the NHL, Sather will more likely overpay for Girardi, who makes slightly over $3 million currently, than Callahan, who makes slightly over $4 million currently.
All in all, I believe Girardi has a better chance of staying a Ranger than Callahan, so I do not believe this delay in contract talks should be anything to worry about as of right now. As for Callahan, I think many fans realize that he is asking for way too much and would not blame Sather if he is forced to trade him.
It will be interesting to see how this all unfolds when we get closer to the trade deadline on March 5.