Dan Girardi
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The now-retired blueliner has accepted a player development role with the Sabres.

Per Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Buffalo Sabres have hired former New York Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi. Girardi will serve in a player development role with the organization.

Girardi, who last played for the Tampa Bay Lightning, announced his retirement in Sept. 2019 at the age of 35. Girardi would be considered by many to be the perfect man for this job.

He went undrafted in the 2003 NHL Draft, but the Rangers invited him to training camp before the 2005-06 season and liked what they saw. After spending time in the ECHL and the AHL, he was called up in 2007 and the rest is history.

Girardi spent 11 seasons with the Rangers, eventually becoming an alternate captain. He was one of the Rangers’ top defenseman for the vast majority of his career in New York and was an All-Star in 2012.

Girardi was most known for blocking shots, and retired as the all-time leader in shots blocked with 2,000. He’s also 30th in playoff games played by a defenseman.

Girardi is one of the greatest undrafted players in NHL history, and he is more than capable of bringing a positive impact to the Sabres organization.

As a player, Girardi was hard-working, perseverant, determined, and fearless. These are all qualities that any and every organization would want their players to have.

The Sabres have been quite the dysfunctional organization for several years now, and hiring such an individual as Girardi could help bring about a culture change.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.