I bet Valentenko leaves for KHL if he doesn't make the team, so we really have nothing to lose and everything to gain by using him as a 7th defenseman.
why would you say that? he went back to Russia last time because of a family matter. He's stated several times that he's here to make it in the NHL. Granted if the contract negotiations go sour, he'll be looking at his options but I will take his word on good faith. His shot blocking abilities will go well with our team.
hes been healthy all year and thats a biggie for him. if he gets through this season healthy and has a good offseason, he could very well make the show on 3rd pair next fall for 2 main reasons.
1. hes exactly what this defense is lacking and has been lacking for ever. he can protect the crease, hurt people, make life miserable for opposing forwards, hurt people, block shots and play within the torts scheme, hurt people, and lastly, he can hurt people.
2. he plays a simple, safe, defense first game and that type of non risk taker player will fit in nicely with the defense we have now.
while we are lacking playmakers from the blueline- im assuming here that girl roy is banished to the whale next season, mdz fits that bill if he can get his mojo back. thats a big if though.
we really have nobody who would be considered an offensive dman on the team other than mdz and girl roy. everyone else, staal, girardi, sauer, mcd is 2 way capable but not truely offensive.
mccabe will not be resigned and neither will eminger.
the way i see it, there are 4 spots definitely taken and 3 open.
mdz, vtank, ktek, girl roy and whatever fa's we look at are in play.
right now my defense next year looks like this
that defense is better than this years d with mccabe eminger and girl roy.
The way he's playing offensively right now in the playoffs is the way he needs to play his game during the regular season... He's not strong enough in the defensive zone to warrant being in the line-up if he's not contributing in the other two zones. Whether or not he'll see a lot of games next season is going to depend not only on how he's performing but also on what the other guys vying for those spots are doing... Gilroy gets passed pretty quickly on the depth chart if MDZ is bringing his A-Game or if players like Valentenko come up and plays strong defensively and adds that physical element that Tortorella loves... Kundratek might even be in the mix in camp I really don't know... I just think Gilroy has more to prove before he solidifies a regular spot in our line-up....
While I generally agree with you wolfgaze, I do think Gilroy has taken a step forward--especially with the way he's played in the playoffs. And I also think that Tortorella plays Gilroy because he brings something to the table that no one else has been able to do this season--provide some offense from the blueline, both because he can actually make a solid pass out of the zone and because he can create/join the rush up the ice. The fact is this team needs those things. And I'm not quite sure why people keep thinking that the organization is more intent on bringing in another defenseman to add more physical play--especially with the emergence of Saucer and McD. If Gilroy is re-signed, I think he has a very good chance to make the team next year and will play the majority of the season. Even if Del Zotto makes the team too. The blueline needs more players who can move the puck.
MATT GILROY: The Rangers won't offer Gilroy the $2.1 million necessary to retrain his rights, but management is expected to extend the sophomore defenseman a two-year offer worth about half that amount per. If Gilroy declines, he will go on the market July 1.
About half? $1.05M. A little more than half. 2 years/$1.2-$1.25M per.
Seriously doubt he declines that.
"I used to pray for good things . I used to ask the Hockey Gods for puck luck for the NYR .
Now all I want is Torts the smug stupid goatee clown to be fired , . I hate Torts . Please hockey gods make him get fired. Please Sean punch him in face" -- Dorado