Gilroy Moves To Wing…Why That Move Instead of A Callup?

The initial response to the loss of Ryan Callahan indefinitely is to move Matt Gilroy from defense up to right wing and go with no spare forwards at the moment.  Gilroy has not played forward for any consistent time in years, so there is certainly some concern over the move and questions as to why there is not a callup for Kolarik, Zuccarello or even leaving Newbury here.  I agree that this seems like an awful time to start experimenting with new positions, but the reason this move might make more sense than a callup is coach John Tortorella has gone with mainly three lines for some time now.  Thinking in those terms one would have to figure Gilroy will be on the fourth line and playing very limited minutes at even strength anyway.

What putting Gilroy in the lineup does do is give Tortorella flexibility in terms of positioning if a defenseman is struggling on a given night as he could move Gilroy in his spot or rotate defense to lessen the ice load amongst the group.  Gilroy also has the ability to play the point on power play and having him as hybrid forward/defender with limited minutes would allow him to play that role without having to worry about any defensive concerns they have about him.  He has not been great on the point, but he has an upside for that position that could make it an option for the team in the short term.  Another potential move could be to double shift Gaborik more with Avery and Christensen as a way to get him more ice time and dictate some matchups.

If the Gilroy experiment isn’t working or the Rangers need more of a spark then the move can always be made later.  In the meantime I would expect the following lines for tomorrow’s practice:





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  • I believe the Gilroy move to wing will turn out to be a good one. The aforementioned reasons not withstanding, Gilroy is an offensive defenseman with speed who likes carrying the puck into the offensive zone…and isn’t afraid to hit either.
    Gilroy was originally a winger, but was moved to defense in college due to an injury to a defenseman…There just may be a lot of Irony in this move.

  • Really it only took Ryan Callahan to fracture his ankle for John Tortorella to make a move that so many were asking for back in training camp.

    It was clear that Matt Gilroy was not going to be an every game player on the blueline so the suggestion to turn him into another hybrid made sense.

    Just wish Tortorella did not wait until someone got hurt to make this move.

    Seriously the Rangers are not going to call anyone up mainly because they need the roster spot for Chris Drury. If you thought that Tortorella was not going to stick a player with as much playoff experience as Drury into the playoff lineup who were you kidding?

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