As per TSN, the Rangers have signed Boston University free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy, winner of the Hobey Baker Award as this year’s best college hockey player. It is believed Gilroy and the Rangers have agreed to terms in the 2 year, $3-4 million range. Burke‘s been seriously interested in Gilroy for a few years now but he appears to have balked at the ultimate signing price on the New York native (could this have played a role as well?). It’s obviously a letdown, but sometimes the best signings are the ones you don’t make. Time will only tell if Burke was right to stick to his guns here.
There is some talk of Burke balking at the demand that the deal be one-way, but one-way/two-way is only a distinction on player salary, not minor league eligibility. In this case, it means Gilroy will receive his $3.5 million salary regardless of whether he’s playing with the Rags or the Wolfpack. For a franchise armed with endless financial resources, one would think the risk of Gilroy becoming a highly-paid minor leaguer should he prove not up to the task would be much less than the potential reward if this kid lives up to the hype. The concern on Burke’s part had to lie in the cap hit figure, particularly with the impending drop of the salary cap come the 2010-2011 season.
The pain of this missed opportunity could be at least partially ameloriated if Burke manages to ink Swedish goaltender Jonas Gustavsson of Farjestads. In my eyes, the woes between the posts have been of far greater concern than any shortcomings on the blue-line.