In a somewhat baffling move, the New York Rangers have demoted 25-year old rookie defenseman Matt Gilroy to Hartford of the AHL. Gilroy, who signed a two-year deal with the Rangers last April, is a stunning casualty in what appears to be a larger roster shakeup.
Many have proposed already that this is the precursor to a major move aimed a shoring up the Rangers non-existent secondary scoring. Plenty of names have been mentioned from the attainable (Nathan Horton, Pavol Demitra) to the pipe dreams (some guy named Vinny from Tampa?). But even if that's the case, this move makes little sense.
John Tortorella often talks about holding his team accountable for their play. Nowhere was that more visible than after last night's heart-wrenching loss in Chicago during the post game presser. Torts called out virtually his entire team short of Henrik Lundqvist going as far as to say he was the only player who showed up last night.
While I generally don't have a problem with calling out your team, or holding them accountable, I do have a problem when the wrong guys are held accountable. Gilroy has been nothing if not solid all season long. Has he made his share of mistakes? Yes, he's a rookie. But has he been worse than others Rangers d-men?
Gilroy was the only Rangers d-man to register a positive plus/minues at plus-2 over 30 games. Was he worse than Michael Del Zotto and his minus-8 rating? Or Dan Girardi's minus-6 or Marc Staal's minus-2 or Michal Rozsival's minus-1?
Why not hold Dan Girardi accountable? Girardi was simply terrible last night in Chicago particularly on the penalty kill as he literally stood around in front of the net as the Hawks were trying to bat in rebounds.
Why not hold Rozsival accountable and find a way to eat his contract? Buy it out, bury him in Hartford, just do something.
How about holding the forwards accountable? And no I don't mean by having them dress and then sit on a bench all night. That doesn't hold accountable that just embarasses a player. How about the captain Chris Drury? Drury is nothing more than a glorified $7 million a year penalty-killer this year.
How about Ryan Callahan who got his "A" and then disappeared? How about Ales Kotalik who is a dreadful minus-12 on the season? Hold those accountable those who deserve to be held accountable.
If you made a list of the Rangers top five underachieving players this season, Matt Gilroy wouldn't be near it. Yet he becomes a fall guy. Simply a bad move by the Blueshirts.