Lightning pursuing BU defenseman Matt Gilroy
Tampa Bay apparently is one of a handful of teams vying to sign Boston University senior defenseman Matt Gilroy, one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation's best player.
"He's one of a number of guys we're looking at adding in the next couple of weeks," Lightning general manager Brian Lawton said.
Gilroy, 24, would be a nice catch for a team trying to rebuild its blue line.
The 6-foot-2, 202-pounder from North Bellmore, N.Y., led all Hockey East defensemen with 28 points on eight goals and 20 assists, and at least one scouting service considers the puck-moving, right-handed shot the No. 1 unrestricted free agent coming out of college.
Undrafted, he was a walk-on for the Terriers and now captains a team that on April 9 faces Vermont in the semifinals of the Frozen Four and is favored to win it all. Gilroy won the 2009 Walter Brown Award, given to the best American-born, Division I player in New England, and his family adviser is Kent Hughes, agent for Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier.
Tampa Bay, which is believed to have had interest in Gilroy last year when he was deciding whether to return to Boston University for his senior season, seems to be one of fewer than 10 teams in the mix.
Why would Gilroy want to play for the downtrodden Lightning? Lawton declined further comment, but it is not difficult to connect the dots. Tampa Bay represents an opportunity to play right away, something an older player with fewer years in front of him would relish.
In other words, it's a time thing. Let's see if the sides can come together on the money thing once Gilroy's season is over.