The Tampa Bay Lightning signed free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy, formerly of the New York Rangers, today to a one-year contract worth $1 Million. This fills the noted hole on defense that we mentioned just a few days ago.
Does the name seem familiar to anyone? It should. In 2009, then-Lightning general manager Brian Lawton tried like crazy to sign Gilroy, who had just finished his collegiate career at Boston University and won the Hobey Baker Award (the NCAA's equivalent to the Hart Trophy). Gilroy, along with the forthcoming selection of Victor Hedman during the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, was to help remake the Lightning defense long-term.
Gilroy opted for more money with New York. He's played 127 NHL games since then, but hadn't gotten a consistent shot.
Gilroy is a right-handed defenseman with offensive upside. Depending how quickly he adapts to life inside the Tampa †, he has the potential and abilities to become a force.