Girardi honored by All-Star selection

January, 12, 2012
1/12/12
5:27
PM ET
Dan Girardi had made tentative plans for the break, but he gladly broke the arrangements when he was informed Thursday afternoon that he was named as one of three Rangers headed to the All-Star game in Ottawa later this month.

The sturdy Rangers defenseman, who leads the league in ice time with an average of 27:18, earned the nod after a stellar half-season anchoring the team's injury-ravaged back end.

Girardi joins teammates Marian Gaborik and goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, both of whom have been named All-Stars in the past.

"It's a pretty big honor," Girardi said. "I honestly would've thought I'd be an All-Star to tell you the God's honest truth."

Girardi joked that son Landon might have boosted his allure -- the young tot was featured multiple times on HBO series "24/7" -- and wondered whether coach John Tortorella's impassioned plea earlier this season might have helped his case, too. But the 27-year-old, who has come a long way since being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2005 , seemed proud of the achievement and vowed to "savor" the experience.

"I feel like I'm going to have a great time out there, that's for sure. I'm going to savor every moment of that. It might be my last," Girardi said with a laugh. "I'm going to really enjoy it with the family and have a good time."

Tortorella said he was glad to see Girardi get the recognition he warrants.

"Absolutely," Tortorella said. "He deserves it."

When told Girardi wondered whether Tortorella would double-shift him during the game, Tortorella countered that he had different plans for his workhorse defenseman.

"No," he joked. "I probably won't play him."



Katie Strang covers the NHL for ESPN.com. She is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
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