Matt Gilroy

July 14, 2010, by

I wanted to weigh in with my opinion on a great piece Nick wrote at the Rangers Tribune. Nick at the RT wrote about Matt Gilroy getting another shot on the Rangers D this coming season.

I absolutely endorse this ‘2nd shot’ and agree with Nick’s opinion. Do we all have long enough memories to remember half the league (if not more) clamouring for Gilroy’s signature before he caused celebration amongst Rangers fans by signing in NYC? I remember. I also remember the great start in both the preseason and the regular season that Gilroy made. I remember him scoring his first pro goal against a certain Martin Brodeur. I remember the media hype he prematurely received. I also remember the way his season spiralled into mediocrity.  

John Tortorella likes to come across as a coach that demands a lot from his charges, he likes to hold them accountable – so he tells us. But I wonder if Torts is willing to admit mistakes? In my opinion, he handled the Gilroy situation terribly. He gave up on him too quickly and personally I don’t think he factored in the ‘NCAA Wall’ that Gilroy was obviously going to encounter. Torts has spoken this off season – and during the exit interviews – about going with youth, riding out any mistakes for a better future. Well this wasn’t evident with Gilroy last year. I don’t think Torts appreciated enough how Gilroy is still very much learning the position and I think Gilroy’s age played against the defenceman. Despite his age, he was still very raw and inexperienced, especially at the NHL level.

All this doesn’t however detract from the fact Gilroy has some serious skill. He’s a wonderful skater, stick handler and can pass well. All these attributes are critical components in the ‘new NHL’.  Gilroy deserves a chance for a few reasons. Simply, the Rangers committed to him financially. Also, Gilroy has flashed his talent enough to warrant another chance and I think he’ll get it. Even the Rangers brass now know Redden = epic fail so spots are there for the taking. Gilroy shouldn’t encounter any NCAA wall this coming season and I think the time he served at the World Championships (thus extending his season and adding experience) will stand him in good stead. His year and solid WC should have been good enough to earn him a chance, initially at least, ahead of McDonagh and Eminger. It’s up to him to take it.

I am confident Gilroy will be a better player than he was last season and for a team still looking for any extra offense a more experienced, slick skating player like Gilroy can really add an extra dynamic to this team. Besides, giving the former Hobey Baker winner another chance costs the club nothing but time.


  1. Dave says:

    Great post. I think people were too hard on Gilroy last year. Let’s see how he does in his sophomore year.

  2. Brian says:

    I’m surprised at how many fans have given up on this kid already and he should absolutely get another season to improve.

    He definately needs to be more assertive defensively to round out his game I’ll admit, but his offensive ability is undeniable. Wasn’t he like one of the most fit guys in camp last year. And aren’t puck moving defensemen a priority in the “new” nhl.

    I’d be curious to know what you think about Tortorella. Is he really the best coach for a team of young players? Is he a good teacher? Is he aware enough to adjust his coaching style to fit the player and personality?

    • jurgenno88 says:

      I have no issues with Torts as coach so long as he practices what he preaches. We’ll find out if that’s the case petty quickly in the new season. Will youth continue to be be served? Will he hold people (truly)accountable? Will he stick with his system this time?

      Its actually a crucial time in Torts coaching career. If he fails, with alot of new guys being given coaching chances recently he may be out of the loop for a while so he needs to make a success of this coming season.

      Gilroy is made for the ‘new NHL’ in terms of his style. He just needs to be backed and coached appropriately. If they can get him better positionally and improve his defensive thought process he can be a success.

      One so-so rookie year is far from being a fail.

      • Brian says:

        I totally agree with your take on Gilroy.

        Yes, this is a crucial year for Torts. And with so many coaches making the jump from the AHL (and having success) now the pool of coaches has expanded from the “old boys club” of recycled coaches to energetic types trying to make a name for themselves.

        I guess my problem with Torts is that he seems so arrogant at times yet he really hasn’t done much (from what I can see) to give this team an identity or helped significantly with the development of any particular player. I mean is he the best guy to teach Staal, or Dubi, or even Gaborik become better players?

        • jurgenno88 says:

          alot of people question his approach with younger players. Again, this year will be crucial.

          With the Boucher’s Andersons, Gordons etc getting HC jobs he must be aware that his job is coveted more than ever by a growing number of people.

          I have no qualms with him with stars like Gaborik (worked pretty well in Tampa after all!) but i think he needs to soften his stance at times with the ‘kids’ and not be (or appear from a fans point of view) to be so militant.

          In some ways he reminds me of Tom Coughlin pre- Super bowl.

          • Brian says:

            Yes, the accountability stuff is important, and yes he helped guys like Lecavlier and Prospal become better players.

            Like you said, a lot will be determined from this year and it will be interesting to what progress guys like Dubi, AA, MDZ and Gilroy make. Moreso than the playoffs this year, the development of these guys will be telling if he is the right guy for the job.

            • jurgenno88 says:

              if every single young player develops well we have a chance at the playoffs but so long as they do all indeed progress i dont care if we miss it for one more year. This has to be about the long term.

        • Dave says:

          The jump from the AHL is why Renney got the job. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ken Gernander given an interim gig as the head coach of the Rangers in the near (1-2 years) future because by that point, many of the Rangers players will have played for him.

      • Dave says:

        Torts tried to implement his TB system without realizing that NY isn’t TB. Coaches need time to get accustomed to his players as well. He will definitely get another full season, and this should be the barometer for his success here.

        • jurgenno88 says:

          agreed. Interesting point about Gernander too. A bit like the Capitals with Boudreau.

  3. Brian says:

    I don’t really follow the Wolfpack but i had the impression that the team was underperforming under Gernander – but I couldn’t say whether it was from a personnel or coaching standpoint.

    • Dave says:

      They were crippled by injuries and poor goaltending last season. Dos-Nueve was with the Rangers, so they had to rely on Zaba and Vally.

      • jurgenno88 says:

        injuries really hurt them. they suffered from call ups too. Byers, Parenteau, Locke all missed time due to callups and were critical components of that side. Hartford did underperform though despite that.

        Gernander is highly regarded in the org. despite last year.

        • Dave says:

          Yea, it wasn’t really Gernander’s fault last season. They will be solid this year with Grachev and Stepan, and a full year of Chad Johnson.

          • jurgenno88 says:

            as i have written about before, im also intrigued to see how Klassen and Kundratek fare. They could really add something.