Rangers' Matt Gilroy Sent to Hartford: Torts Makes Statement with Wrong Player

Rob CristinoCorrespondent IDecember 10, 2009

BUFFALO, NY - DECEMBER 5:  Matt Gilroy #97 of the New York Rangers skates with the puck during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at HSBC Arena on December 5, 2009 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)
Rick Stewart/Getty Images

New York Rangers head coach John Tortorella has been known around the NHL as a bold coach with a fiery temper and an immense passion for the game. He is also known as a coach who holds players accountable for their actions and overall play.

This is the same coach that arrived in Tampa Bay in the 2000-01 season and stripped the captaincy away from star Vincent Lecavalier and later had even benched Lecavalier for a poor defensive performance.

Everyone knows Tortorella isn’t afraid to bench a player or two in order to make a statement, but where has this accountability been with the mess that is the Rangers?

Instead of making an example out of one of the many struggling/inconsistent veteran players on the team, Torts has chosen to make a statement with rookie defenseman Matt Gilroy by sending the former Hobey Baker award winner down to the Hartford Wolf Pack.

Gilroy's recent play seems to be the factor in Torts' decision, especially after Gilroy’s poor performance during Wednesday night’s overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. He was on the ice during both of the Blackhawks' goals.

While Gilroy certainly hasn't been at his best and is still learning the game at the pro level, he is by no means the worst defenseman on the team.

However, because of cap and contract issues, Gilroy is the odd man out.

Regardless of the contract issues (in terms of who has a one-way or two-way contract), Tortorella is holding the wrong player accountable. Gilroy probably will benefit from his time down in Hartford and will be back at the NHL level before you know it, but what about the play of Michal Rozsival, Wade Redden and even Dan Girardi?

How many times have we seen Rozsival get beat by the opposition and fail to get back into position, or even lose the puck at either end of the ice?

Where has the accountability been for the Rangers forwards?

I’m not suggesting Tortorella send a player down to Hartford, but how about a nice  benching for the inconsistent and poor play of Ales Kotalik, Chris Drury, Sean Avery or even Ryan Callahan? How about making a statement with Donald Brashear and Brian Boyle, who both lack a physical game and have not been remotely impressive?

Tortorella needs to start holding not only his rookies accountable, but his veteran players accountable as well. The Rangers need to put forth more of an effort because getting just one shot on goal in the third period is not only an embarrassment, but a disgrace as well.

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