The New York Rangers will buy out the remaining three years of defenseman Dan Girardi's contract, the team announced Wednesday.
Girardi, 33, has been slowed by injuries in recent years. His contract has an annual salary cap hit of $5.5 million per season.
"I want to thank all of the Blueshirt faithful," Girardi said in a statement. "You are one of the best and most passionate fan bases in the NHL. I appreciate your support over the years. I poured my heart and soul into this team for the past 11 seasons and I enjoyed every minute of it."
Girardi played in 788 career games with the Rangers, registering 230 points (46 goals, 184 assists) and 275 penalty minutes. He ranks ninth on the Rangers' all-time games played list and he ranks fifth among team defensemen in career games played.
"I would like to thank Dan for everything he has given of himself to the Rangers over 11 seasons," Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton said in a statement. "He has been one of the key contributors to our success over the past decade. We have the utmost respect for Dan and wish him all the best going forward."
Girardi, a Welland, Ontario, native, helped the Rangers advance to the playoffs 10 times during his 11 seasons with the franchise, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final during the 2013-14 season.
"Dan's contributions to the New York Rangers organization have been immeasurable," Rangers president Glen Sather said. "He has been a role model through his relentless determination, giving everything he had to this organization both on and off the ice. He, Pam, Landon and Shaye will always be a part of the Rangers family."
Girardi was signed by the Rangers as an undrafted free agent on July 1, 2006.
The 6-foot-1, 212-pound Girardi served as one of the Rangers' alternate captains since the start of the 2011-12 season. Girardi skated in 788 of 820 regular-season games the Rangers played from the time he made his NHL debut on Jan. 27, 2007, through the end of the 2016-17 regular season. He played in 122 career playoff games with the Rangers, registering six goals, 27 assists and 36 penalty minutes.
'I have spent one-third of my life as a New Yorker and as a New York Ranger," Girardi said. "New York will always be our second home. I started my family here, got married to my wife Pam, and had our two children, Landon and Shaye."