A blog focusing on the New York Rangers and all things hockey (also Yankees and Giants) with a New York attitude from a fan of 40 years whose greatest highlight came when Mark Messier lifting the Stanley Cup on June 14, 1994
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Dan Girardi has been nominated as the Rangers' candidate for the Masterton Trophy, which is named after the late Minnesota North Stars player Bill Masterton.
Presented since 1968, the year of Masterton's death, the award honors perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Girardi was selected by the New York chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association in a close vote with Marc Staal and Ryan Callahan, who finished finished second and third, respectively.
Girardi is a worthy choice as the popular defenseman has gone from an undrafted free agent in 2006 to the anchor of the Rangers' defense, which boasts the third-best goals-against average in the NHL.
While Girardi has only five goals, he has been solid as a stay-at-home defenseman and played in his first All-Star game this season.
With Staal sidelined for the first half of the season, Girardi wore the "A" on his sweater -- assistant captain -- and ranks fourth in the NHL in ice time with just under 26 1/2 minutes per game. He had been first. Girardi also ranks in the top 10 in blocked shots.
The finalists are selected in April and the winner is named in June. Four Rangers have won the award: Jean Ratelle 1971), Rod Gilbert (1976), Anders Hedberg (1985) and Adam Graves (2001).