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Gilroy, Johnson Sent Down

The Rangers made two moves today, one surprising, the other expected. The first, was sending Matt Gilroy down to Hartford. They kept Ilkka Heikkinen up. I don’t get it. Honestly, I thought Gilroy has been one of our best defenseman all year. He had a bad game against Chicago, but so did Rosival, and everyone else. I would have preferred to see Rosy sent down, or even Girardi. I don’t get it. If it’s a message, I think it’s a wrong one. Gilroy has been great all year. One bad game, and he’s in Hartford. Don’t get it.

The second move was sending goalie Chad Johnson down to Hartford. This is just to get him some extra work. Matt Zaba was called up as the backup for the Saturday game against Buffalo. Hartford has a bunch of games coming up, so he can get work. I still think the Rangers need to get a NHL caliber backup.

What’s your thoughts on the Gilroy move? Since the move does save some cap room, is there another one on the way?

11 Responses to “Gilroy, Johnson Sent Down”

  1. Dave says:

    Wow. Just. Wow. Not what I was expecting to see.

  2. Dave says:

    It does give them some wiggle room on the cap though. Still don’t know why they need 18 forwards though.

    • jurgenno88 says:

      how the hell Aaron Voros is still on this side, not to mention Brashear is anyones guess. The move (unless he comes back up quickly) saves them over 1m but of all the underperforming players on the sqaud he is one of the least deserving. Roszival clearly has comprising photos of Sather/Torts.

      • Dave says:

        Even if Brashear is sent down, the cap hit stil remains (over 35 multi-year contract). Voros hasn’t been playing that poorly (granted, I haven’t watched the previous 2-3 games).

        As for Rozsival, I really hope the Rangers buy him out in June.

        • jurgenno88 says:

          i am starting to hate Roszival and he’s ruining all the good will he created from his first few years. He’s a total liability and im losing a little respect for Torts because he’s clinging to Rosy like Renney did with certain players. Torts needs to show his ruthless streak but is it still there?!?!

  3. dbmaven says:

    Gilroy’s play hasn’t been that good in the last month. It would be obvious if the other d-men were playing well and living up to their salaries…..

    The best take I’ve seen on this is from Zipay – for those of you who aren’t subscribers here’s an outtake from his blog:

    “There’s little risk with sending Gilroy down, though. He’s exempt from waivers this year and he could use some confidence (he isn’t even rushing the puck with authority). I would think Gilroy will be back in three or four weeks. And ya know what, I like what I’ve seen of Ilkka Heikkinen and want to catch some more. He can bang some people and could make someone else more disposable.

    Gilroy’s only played defense for four years, remember, and a few of us writers were saying two weeks ago that Gilroy looked as if he had plateaued. Of course, he also has been playing with different partners recently (Bobby Sanguinetti, Heikkinen, Wade Redden) and the left-handed shot was even asked to play the right side.

    Assistant GM Jim Schoenfeld said that fact was taken into consideration, but that Gilroy’s play as an individual didn’t change. “He doesn’t have a complete game at this point,” he said. You could contend that no Rangers D has been worthy of that praise this season. All of them have had lapses.

    Schoenfeld said some players can strengthen their weaknesses with the big clubs, especially if they bring something else to the table. But he said that if Gilroy needed to work through mistakes, “It’s better to have that in Hartford rather than cost games for the Rangers.”

    In my conversation with him, Schoenfeld made the comparison to Ryan Callahan, who struggled with the Rangers after coming back from an injury in 2007-08, was sent to Hartford and scored 15 points in 11 games, was summoned back and blossomed last season. They hope Gilroy will respond in a similar fashion. Not only for his sake, but for the $3.5 million investment. “

    • Jordan says:

      I mean, I always say this cautiously because obviously the coaching staff knows the team better than I do, but this is just bad all around.

      I get that Gilroy has hit a plateau of sorts, but facing weaker competition isn’t going to step his game up. If it’s a confidence issue, okay, send the kid down and build that up with a few games and then bring him back.

      But Schoenfeld says he doesn’t have a complete game!? First off, not one defenseman on the team has a complete game. The one thing this team doesn’t have is a stand out defenseman! They each bring a little something to the table, but have huge holes in other parts of their game. Singling out Gilroy isn’t the answer. I like what I’ve seen so far from the beerman and I agree he should stay, but it’s time to send down one of the forwards and bench the defenseman who doesn’t play well. Right now, that’s Rosi.

      Sending down Gilroy doesn’t shake up Rosi, Staal, Girardi and Redden. He’s a rookie, he’s not supposed to be complete. Benching one of them who is playing poorly shakes it up saying the beerman/Sanguinetti/anyone else gives the team a better chance to win that night than a more established player.

      Could you imagine if you’re Rosi and you’re riding the pine while Ilkka is taking your place? That’ll get the old mind working, saying hey, maybe I need to step it up and earn my playing time/pay check! Novel idea, huh?

      I personally hope Gilroy is back sooner than later. He’s not the reason the team isn’t performing well and he will only learn so much playing with inferior competition under a weaker coaching staff.

  4. Dave says:

    Gilroy was expected to produce more offensively, but he chose to worry about his defensive game first, which is great. It shows that he martured defensively.

    But when he started to slip, I can’t say I’m surprised he was sent down. He doesn’t need to clear waivers, and he made a lot of money.

  5. Dave says:

    To clarify, I was initially surprised. But the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.

    • Jordan says:

      I disagree. From the perspective that there was no waiver/financial downside from his being sent down, yes, it makes sense. But I don’t see how it makes sense at all otherwise.

      • Dave says:

        He is the only defenseman (aside from Heikkinen) that can be recalled without losing him on waivers. Since they needed room, he was “waivable”.

        Granted, the pickup of Erik Christensen still puzzles me.