Brrp brrp baaaaaah! (That was a trumpet.) Welcome back to the Rangers' offseason, salary arbitration. We've missed you, since we dismissed Nik Zherdev a year ago. In a move that surprised absolutely nobody, Dan Girardi, who is eligible to file for arbitration this summer, and who rejected some unknown offer from the Rangers, asking instead for a 4-year deal at at least $3 million/year, did in fact file for arbitration. It is believed that the Rangers are very interested in re-signing him, and they will do their best to come to terms before arbitration actually happens. If Girardi and the Rangers can agree to a contract before an arbitration hearing takes place, then this becomes a non-issue: they just sign the contract.
If, however, it comes to it, the NHL will schedule a hearing sometime between July 20 and August 5, at which a third party will decide how much Girardi is worth. The Rangers can then choose to accept this value within 48 hours, in which case Girardi must, or to just let him go - after the 48 hours, he would become an unrestricted free agent.
Hopefully they can find some kind of happy middle ground before it comes to that. If it does come to that, hopefully the arbitrator will come up with a reasonable figure. I'd like to not be paying him more than $3 million a year - as I've said here before, I believe he's worth the same kind of contract we offered Callahan and Dubinsky a year ago: a couple of years at a couple million dollars a year.
Meanwhile, no news on Staal negotiations. The only other news is that apparently Rangers prospect Ryan McDonagh (we traded for him in the Gomez-Higgins trade) is going to be signing a contract with us and trying to make his way onto our already stellar blue line. He's 6'1", 200 lbs, and supposedly a stay-at-home-style defenseman. By comparison, this can't possibly be a bad thing.