UPDATE [Note by Jim Schmiedeberg, 12/10/09 1:23 PM EST The Rangers have also announced that Chad Johnson has been sent down, and Matt Zaba has been recalled from Hartford. I believe the Wolfpack are playing tomorrow night, I think this is so Johnson can start there.]
As per the tweets of Andrew Gross (@Agrossrecord):
Somewhat of a surprise: #NYRangerskeep Ilkka Heikkinen, send Hobey Baker winner Matt Gilroy to Hartford (AHL).
I can't say I saw this coming. Remember that because of Gilroys situation (being 25 without playing an NHL game before he signed his contract) he is not subject to waivers.
Regardless this move is simply a head-scratcher unless you look at it from a team perspective not a player perspective (more on that below). I though that Matt Gilroy was playing solid hockey and was getting better as time went on. Although he gave up the game winner last night I thought he played a pretty good game.
While we all wanted to see Ilkka Heikkinen kept with the big club I don't think we wanted to see it happen at the expense of Gilroy. And although Heikkinen brings a lot to the table I don't think he was playing better than Gilroy was.
Now before you rip Glen Sather's head off think about this: Matt Gilroy is a 1.75 million dollar cap hit where Heikkinen is just under 600K, this move gives the Rangers 1.15 million dollars in cap space to work with. Perhaps this is more of a move to make cap space because a trade is brewing. This is the most logical reasoning in my head right now and if this is the case it actually makes sense. Thoughts?