Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rumor: Rangers To Offer Multi-Year Deal To Gilroy?

In today's column, Larry Brooks of the New York Post, reported that Rangers’ GM Glen Sather is expected to offer 26-year-old defenseman Matt Gilroy a new multi-year deal after this season. Gilroy’s two year deal expires at the end of the season and it has long been understood that the Rangers were unlikely to tender the pending restricted free agent at the required 2.1 million to retain his rights.

The fact that the Rangers would consider giving Gilroy a contract well below his current salary is not a surprise. The fact that they are looking to lock him up to a multi-year deal is unexpected however.  Between inconsistent play on the ice and inability to consistently crack the lineup, sitting ten of the final fourteen games this season as a healthy scratch it is odd that the Rangers would be looking to construct a deal for multiple years.  Gilroy has shown some of the things he can bring to the table during the current playoff series against Washington, but the flashes have never really been played out over any consistent time before.  Hopefully he is finding his niche in the NHL and will move from there if the Rangers keep him this summer.

The most logical conclusion I can come to as to why the Rangers would bring Gilroy back and for multiple years is they view him an ideal seventh defender and if they can lock him up at a reasonable rate it is worth the look. They know that he can sit in the press box and be ready to contribute in a limited role when necessary without bring a problem for the team, which is critical to any seventh defender.  I cannot see a scenario where the Rangers think a pairing of Michael Del Zotto and Matt Gilroy is a good idea heading into next season.

Gilroy obviously has the ability to decline the offer and would become an unrestricted free agent.  The desire to lock up Gilroy also likely means that Steve Eminger is not in the Rangers plans beyond this season.