Stay Or Go: Matt Gilroy

Matt Gilroy has been a disappointment in his two seasons in New York.  Signed to a two year, $3.5 million deal out of Boston University, Gilroy was brought in to provide offense from the blue line.  Gilroy did not produce, and at points was seen as a liability when inserted into the lineup.  As a converted forward, the defensive lapses aren’t surprising, and were somewhat expected.  The problem herein lies with the lack of production, as without production, you cannot ignore the defensive lapses.

Gilroy played in 69 games in 2009-2010 before being sent down to the AHL to work on his game.  It appeared that he had hit the proverbial “NCAA Wall”, which affects many NCAA players making the jump from college to the pros.  In that season, he generated just four goals and 15 points.  Gilroy played less than 12 minutes per game, and was rarely seen on the powerplay or the penalty kill.  He was essentially a $1.75 million third pairing defenseman, and one that didn’t add anything special to the mix.

This past season, Gilroy’s play wasn’t stellar, but it was better.  The production still wasn’t there –just three goals and 11 points in 58 games– and he was still being caught out of position.  He found himself as a healthy scratch for many games, especially after the Rangers called up Ryan McDonagh and acquired Bryan McCabe.  He was simply living up to his projection of a sixth/seventh defenseman. 

Gilroy was re-inserted into the lineup in April as the Rangers were closing in on a playoff berth.  In desperate need of offense, the thought process was that Gilroy’s offensive prowess would help out the team.  Well, the Rangers made the playoffs, and Gilroy played well enough to earn himself a roster spot.  During the playoffs, Gilroy’s play was much improved, as he seemed to be less jittery than some of the rookies on the blue line.  His previous playoff experience in the Frozen Four paid off, as he was one of the stronger Rangers skaters in the first round loss to Washington.  He wasn’t really noticeable, except for that first goal of the series, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing for a defenseman.

In the end, Gilroy’s play in the playoffs probably saved his future with the Rangers.  The Rangers currently have five defensemen they are 100% bringing back (McDonagh, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Mike Sauer, Michael Del Zotto), which leaves spots open for the sixth and seventh defenseman.  Of course, this all boils down to money, and Gilroy will simply not be getting his $1.75 million per season in his next contract.  If he wants a matching contract, he will not be a Ranger.  If he’s willing to take a paycut, then I would keep him around for a year or two.  He still has that potential to add offense.  Keyword there being potential.

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  • Why would we not re-sign him as a winger? He would be a very good checking forward on the third/fourth line and could be that “emergency” defender for in game injuries, etc. If his ofensive skills develop sufficiently, he could even be the point on the PP.

      • I don’t know that you could call it “epic”–it was like one game, then they brought zuc back up to take his spot. Doesn’t mean it’s a good idea either. The guy can skate, though, so I think you offer to bring him back at defense for 1 million or less for a year, and see where the chips fall.

  • You can’t expect offensive prodcution if you don’t give him the chance to produce.

    Out of all the people that Tortorella had as the PP quarterback, Gilroy was the most qualified. He was rarely given the chance on the power play unit, even though the skating and passing abilities that made Gilroy a good prospect were far above anyone else Torts had out there.

    • Agreed Hoggo,
      You can’t expect to develop a player when He doesn’t even know on the way to the rink if He is dressing, never mind going out there for a mere 10-12 minutes a game. Meanwhile DZ was a MINUS 20 in 2009-10, He led the team by 8. DZ was given the power play, 20 minutes of ice time per game, power play situations and unlimited mulligans. For Gilroy’s sake. I would rather see Him on another team so He can develop rather than getting buried like the last two years.

      • Ya know, that’s a really good point and the plus/minus thing two seasons ago REALLY bothered me considering by year’s end Gilroy was buried in the doghouse. I’d like to see him back on the Rangers at the right price, but this is one of our many players who don’t get a chance to develop properly in NY and then get snatched up somewhere else and develop into the players they should be. Better for us that he stays, better for him that he goes–and if the Rangers let him walk, watch the Islanders pull another Parenteau/Montoya on him and he’ll put up 15 more points than Del Zotto next year.

  • Ever since we lost our last true blue captain Brian Leetch, we have not had a solid offensive defenseman. Is Gilroy that guy? no. Is MDZ that guy? Possibly. To be honest I don’t think Gilroy should be back really. If he does come back I wouldn’t dread it. The real play is to not re-sign him and draft someone who could take his spot. We have to re-sign a lot of people. And with a possible big free agent acquisition on the horizon, we can’t re-sign everyone and expect so much change. We need a super star, and we can’t have “potentially good players” like Gilroy get in our way.

  • I, for one, wouldn’t mind Steve Eminger as a 6th or 7th D-Man, with Shea Weber coming in.

    Then again, I’m dreaming, because Shea Weber will probably cost over $6 million and two 1st round picks, a 2nd round, and a 3rd round pick. And that’s if Nashville won’t match. Perhaps James Wisnewski is more realistic…

  • I agree with those who believe Gilroy should be moved to wing…throwing him out on the wing for 5 minutes does not a tryout make. Gilroy has size, speed and is not afraid to carry the puck deep and shoot, which is a lot more than you can say for alot iof other Blueshirts.
    And while we’re at it Zucarello shouls play on the left side.

  • He should stay.

    Offensive D-men are hard find and take time to develop and round out their game. I see no reason why the Rangers can’t sign him to a reasonable contract two year deal and give him time to see if he can bring it. I don’t like the wing idea only because it is far more difficult to find offensive defensemen than it is to find solid wingers.

    He has talent, he can skate, and the rangers need an offensive D man in the worst way. The potential reward is still far greater than the risk IMO.

    • Package Gilroy with Dru and a 1st round pick and maybe one more peice not on the current roster to Colo for Stasny . Colo needs to add salary they are below the cap floor , so they might take Dru back if they could get the rest from the Rangers

      • So what your saying is that Colorado accepts a package of Gilroy, Drury, a prospect, and a 1st for Paul Stastny?

        Whatever you’re smoking, pass that around please.

      • we’re not going to be lucky enough to run into another gm willing to pull a “scott gomez”. i agree with dave. i doubt very seriously that many teams would take gilroy, drury, and the cure for cancer for stastny.

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