"I would like to thank all my coaches, family, friends, and teammates for supporting me throughout my entire hockey career," Girardi said. "I want to thank the New York Rangers for giving me a chance to fulfill my childhood dream of playing in the NHL.
"Throughout those 11 incredible years, I have made so many friends on and off the ice. I bled Ranger blue and gave it my all for my team, the city, and the Garden faithful.
"I also want to thank the Tampa Bay Lightning for helping me continue my career by giving me a chance to play for such an amazing organization, city, and fan base. The last two years in Tampa Bay have been so much fun for me and my family. I will always fondly remember my time here."
An undrafted free agent, Girardi played 927 NHL contests during his career with the Rangers and Lightning, tallying 56 goals and 208 assists for 264 points.
The 35-year-old Ontario native helped his clubs reach the playoffs in 12 of his 13 campaigns, and his 143 postseason contests ranked second among active defensemen upon his retirement.
Girardi made four Eastern Conference Final appearances and reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Rangers in 2013-14.