New-York-Rangers3-150x1501BY: Mitch Beck, Publisher – Howlings

It’s been a busy day in the New York Rangers accounting and player personnel office.

The Rangers announced that they have signed defenseman, and former Whale, Michael Del Zotto. TSN.ca reports that the deal is for  two-years for a total of $5.1 million.

The Rangers also announced that they have signed Matt Gilroy to a contract. CapGeek.com reports the Gilroy signing is for $650K.

As if that weren’t enough, Chris Kreider has officially been recalled by the Rangers. That answers just about all of the questions as to who will be coming and going from the Whale.

What that means is the Whale are likely to sign or promote another defenseman and will more than likely bring another forward up as well given that Marek Hrivik is reportedly dealing with a concussion.

For the Whale, losing both of these players really shouldn’t impact them all that much. Kreider was not doing anything particularly spectacular with just five goals and seven assists in 33 games. The former Boston College standout also had 55 PIM.

Gilroy was struggling mightily with 34 games under his belt he had six goals and nine assists for 15 points, but the former Boston University and Hobey Baker winner looked absolutely lost defensively and it showed with his having a minus-16 plus/minus rating.

In other Rangers related news, according to TSN, former Ranger Scott Gomez has been sent home for the season by the Montreal Canadiens and will obviously be in the same boat as Wade Redden and not play so they can be bought out of their contracts. At one time Scott Gomez was seen, along with Chris Drury, as the savior for the Blueshirts. The Rangers will be on the hook cap wise for Drury’s buy out for this season. Les Habs will pay Gomez $7.3M to sit at home.

The official releases from the team are below.

DEL ZOTTO (via NY Rangers):

NEW YORK, January 13, 2013 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Michael Del Zotto on a new contract.

Del Zotto, 22, established career-highs with 10 goals and 31 assists for 41 points, along with 36 penalty minutes and a career-best, plus-20 rating in 77 games last season. He also set career-highs in blocked shots (95), shorthanded goals (one), shorthanded assists (two), shorthanded points (three), game-winning goals (two), and shots on goal (113). Del Zotto led all team defensemen in goals, assists and points, and ranked fifth on the team overall in points and power play points (14), fourth in assists, and second in power play assists (13).

The Stouffville, Ontario native reached the 10-goal/40-point marks for the first time with a career-high, three-point performance (two goals, one assist), while skating in his 200th career NHL game on March 30 against Montreal. He notched both goals in the third period of the contest to become the first Rangers defenseman to accomplish the feat since James Patrick in 1988.

Selected as the Rangers’ first round choice, 20th overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Del Zotto made his playoff debut last season, finishing fourth among NHL defensemen in points (10), tied for fourth in assists (eight), sixth in goals (two), third in power play assists (three) and second in power play points (four). He tied for fourth on the team in points, third in assists, second in power play assists and second in power play points. Del Zotto notched the series-clinching goal at 10:05 of the third period, and added an assist, on May 12 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against Washington.

The 6-0, 195-pounder has skated in 204 career NHL games in three seasons with the Rangers, registering 21 goals and 68 assists for 89 points, along with 88 penalty minutes. Del Zotto was named to the 2010 NHL All-Rookie Team after leading all NHL rookies in power play assists (18), and finishing second in power play points (22), tied for fifth in power play goals (four) and seventh in points (37) during the 2009-10 season. He was named NHL Rookie of the Month for October that season, registering 12 points and three power play goals in 14 games. Del Zotto notched the game-winning goal while making his NHL debut on October 3, 2009 against Ottawa to become the first teenager to tally a goal for the Rangers since Manny Malhotra in 1998-99, and the second youngest defensemen in team history to accomplish the feat behind Red Garrett.

GILROY (via NY Rangers):

NEW YORK, January 13, 2013 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent defenseman Matt Gilroy.

Gilroy, 28, has registered six goals and nine assists for 15 points in 34 games with the Connecticut Whale of the American Hockey League (AHL) this season, after signing with the team as a free agent on October 8. He leads all Whale defensemen in goals, is tied for first in points and second in assists. He is also tied for second on Connecticut with four power play goals. Gilroy has recorded three multi-point efforts, including two, two-goal performances on October 19 at Norfolk and November 23 at Bridgeport. He ranked fourth on the team in scoring in November with eight points, and tied for second on the Whale with four goals in 10 games.

The North Bellmore, New York native split last season between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators, establishing NHL career-highs in assists (17), points (20) and hits (59) in 67 games. Gilroy also recorded a career-high, four multi-point performances, including three multi-assist efforts. He began the season with Tampa Bay, where he ranked second among team defensemen in assists (15) and points (17) at the time of his trade to Ottawa on February 27. Gilroy also skated in three playoff contests with the Senators.

The 6-1, 199-pounder has skated in 194 career NHL games in three seasons with the Rangers, Tampa Bay and Ottawa, registering 10 goals and 36 assists for 46 points, along with 55 penalty minutes and a plus-seven rating. He returns to the Rangers where he has recorded seven goals and 19 assists for 26 points in 127 games from 2009-10 to 2010-11, after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent on April 17, 2009. Gilroy made his NHL debut on October 2, 2009 at Pittsburgh, and tallied his first career NHL point with the game-winning goal on October 5, 2009 at New Jersey. He tied for sixth among NHL rookie defensemen with a career-high, four goals that season. In 2010-11, Gilroy notched a goal while making his NHL playoff debut on April 13 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals at Washington.

Prior to turning professional, Gilroy skated in four seasons with Boston University of Hockey East, registering 25 goals and 67 assists for 92 points, along with 46 penalty minutes and a plus-78 rating in 160 career collegiate contests. In 2008-09, he captured the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top player in collegiate hockey, and was named as a First Team All-American after captaining the Terriers to their fifth NCAA championship.


HARTFORD, January 13, 2013:  Connecticut Whale general manager Jim Schoenfeld announced today that the parent New York Rangers have recalled forward Chris Kreider from loan to the Whale, and that defenseman Matt Gilroy has been released from his AHL Contract.

Gilroy has signed an NHL free agent contract with the Rangers, and both players will be joining the Rangers for the start of their NHL training camp.

Kreider, the Rangers’ first-round pick (19th overall) in 2009, has scored five goals and added seven assists for 12 points, and registered 55 penalty minutes, in 33 games with the Whale.  The rookie out of Boston College finished last season by posting 5-2-7 in 18 playoff games with the Rangers, after winning an NCAA championship with the Eagles (23-22-45, 66 PIM in 44 GP).

Gilroy, a fourth-year pro with 194 NHL games-played to his credit, led all Whale defensemen in goals with six, and also had nine assists for 15 points, in 34 games with Connecticut, along with 14 penalty minutes.  The former Hobey Baker Award-winner with Boston University split last season between the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning (2-15-17, 16 PIM in 53 GP) and Ottawa Senators (14 GP, 1-2-3, 2 PIM), after playing his first two pro years with the Rangers.

The Whale are back in action later today in Hershey, taking on the Bears at 5:00 PM in the second of back-to-back games between the two clubs.  All of the action can be heard live on “Beethoven Radio” AM 1290.  Fans can also listen on-line at CTWhale.com, and video streaming is available at AHLLive.com).  The next home game for the Whale is Wednesday, January 23, a 7:00 battle with the Adirondack Phantoms.

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