Dan Girardi’s got jokes — though until recently they’ve been mostly for teammates. Now he’ll be sharing those jokes on a new podcast, The Block Party with Dan Girardi.
“Get it, block party? It’s what I did as a living,” he said.
Girardi, who retired this offseason, will co-host the weekly podcast with Seth Kushner, interviewing Lightning players and others around the organization.
Girardi didn’t see a podcast as his next step when he decided to retire, but then senior director of communications Brian Breseman asked if he’d be up for it. For the player former teammates described as the funniest guy in hockey, this move made sense.
The first episode is available now anywhere you get podcasts (“including tampabaylightning.com,” he says leaning into the mic and looking directly at the camera). Girardi describes it as “just me making fun of myself, being who I am.”
In the first episode, Girardi pokes fun at himself for teeing up on the referees who officiate the youth hockey team he coaches. He and Kushner laugh about the background of planes and helicopters as they recorded in a park on Davis Islands.
“It’s mainly to talk to guys in a different way,” Girardi said about going forward.
Girardi says he’ll stay away from the “hey how’d the game go last night” in favor of funny stories about himself and his about the team.
This is an opportunity to stay involved but in a low-key way. Girardi has enjoyed being away from the game. He watches highlights but doesn’t keep up with the specifics of who is in, who is hurt, and the like.
“I don’t even know where (Artemi) Panarin is right now,” he quips about the hottest free agent this summer. After a beat, Girardi leans in again, “I know where he is.” (The answer is with Girardi’s former team the Rangers.)
This podcast is a good medium. Girardi can still coach his son’s hockey team and take his daughter to dance class. But he gets out of his wife’s hair.
“If she was here, she’d be saying, ‘Can you please get out of the house and do something?’” he said.
Girardi is enjoying being at home with his family. He doesn’t need that secret Instagram account to keep up with his wife’s posts of the kids.
“Honestly, I don’t miss it at all,” Girardi said.
He got used to the retired life pretty quickly. As much as he likes having a schedule, it’s also nice to get back from dropping his kids off at school and go back to bed if he wants.
Plus, now Girardi can spend a lot of time in the backyard fishing. So much time fishing that the staff of his bait shop in Gandy Boulevard know him pretty well by now.
“I don’t miss blocking shots,” he said, “getting hit, getting yelled out, working out, all those fun things.”
Now, when Girardi goes to a game, it’s more about spending time with his 8-year-old son Landon.
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And it just might yield a future podcast laugh.
Contact Diana C. Nearhos at email@example.com. Follow @dianacnearhos