New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that defenseman Matt Gilroy has been assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL). In addition, goaltender Matt Zaba has been recalled from Hartford, while goaltender Chad Johnson has been assigned to Hartford.First off, the Chad Johnson move was just to get him some game action as Hank will start on Saturday. The Gilroy one, which everyone has been talking about, is more complicated. Here is a few thoughts:
*John Tortorella's idea of coaching is to blame everyone else for the team's ills. And the loss against the Blackhawks was clearly all because Gilroy was beat on the outside by Byfuglien. Not because Prospal turned into a deer in headlights when the puck was on his stick in front of the empty net or because Chris Drury couldn't contribute any kind of offense at all.
*The move isn't entirely unlike Mike Sauer getting blamed for Paul Mara's indiscretions last season that led to three goals against. Sauer was immediately sent back down and wasn't even given a shot in camp as everyone was wowed by MDZ and Hobey.
*Hobey is a rookie, and thus able to scolded and benched. Rozy and Redden can suck night after night but they are highly paid veterans, and thus exempt from any form of accountability.
*That which does not kill us makes us stronger. If Gilroy can survive in Hartford where he will be a prime target for opposing forecheckers then he will come back stronger than before.
*If he can score some goals, it will also boost his confidence and we may see more of those end to end rushes he has dazzled with this season. As the Rangers have collapsed deeper and deeper into their own zone, Hobey hasn't had any chances or the nerve to get to open ice.
*The Rangers salary cap situation sucks and every extra dollar will help when Sather goes out and blows draft picks or prospects for overpaid scoring that won't score once they get to Broadway.
Hobey is on a one-way contract, which means he will get paid his NHL salary even though he will be playing in the A. As he is 25 and has limited NHL experience, he won't have to go through waivers to come back. So relax, Hobey will be back, his wallet will just be a bit lighter after buying dinner for his new teammates. And look at it this way, he is the lucky one - the first rat off a sinking ship.
Nah, I'm not down on these guys at alllllllllll.