Sullivan: Gilroy would fit nicely with Lightning
Lightning associate coach Mike Sullivan said he has spoken to Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy about perhaps joining Tampa Bay, and Sullivan said he believes it is something Gilroy legitimately is contemplating.
Gilroy, 24, is a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the nation's best college player. The senior also will be an unrestricted free agent when his season ends. Boston University faces Vermont Thursday night in the semifinals of the Frozen Four.
"I think he'd be foolish not to," Sullivan said of considering the Lightning. There's an opportunity for a defenseman like him to be an impact guy right away. So, from that regard I think he would have to give it strong consideration. It's a great place to live. There are a lot of things here that are attractive for free agents.There are a lot of key pieces in place, and (ownership) wants to move this team in the right direction, and someone like Matt Gilroy could be part of it. That could be exciting for him."
Gilroy does not yet have an agent. His family adviser is Kent Hughes, agent for Lightning center Vinny Lecavalier.
As for what Gilroy brings, Sullivan, who played at Boston University and has strong ties to the program, said Gilroy is a premier puck-mover.
"He really helps BU at the college level with its transition game," Sullivan said. "He can be a one-man breakout, just with his ability to beat pressure. I think he will bring the same elements to the pro game as well. I'm not sure he'll be a one-man breakout, but he'll certainly be a guy who can help a team get out of its own end."
As for Thursday's game, Sullivan said he has a dinner bet with Vermont alum Marty St. Louis. Asked where he was going to take Sullivan to dinner, St. Louis said, "Whoa, whoa, he's going to be buying me dinner." Sullivan already has won a dinner from goaltenders coach Cap Raeder for BU's victory over New Hampshire in the regional playoffs.
Speaking of Marty St. Louis, who reached the 30-goal mark for the fifth time in his career on Tuesday and likely will finish with 80 points (he has 79), how about this strong quote about him from teammate Cory Murphy: "Getting to play with him every day, and seeing the little things he does, he's an elite player in this league. The thing that sets him apart is he brings it every night and every shift. It's pretty impressive, actually. I think he is exceptional."
Other stuff from Wednesday: Left wing Matt Pettinger sat out of practice for body maintenance, and defenseman Matt Lashoff was limping around the locker room and is questionable for Thursday's home finale against the Capitals. With only 19 healthy players on the roster, coach Rick Tocchet said that almost certainly means another call-up, especially if Lashoff is hurt. Perhaps Tampa Bay hits the 50-player mark for the season. ... Now GM Brian Lawton says he will meet with Tocchet after the draft lottery to discuss the head coaching job. ... Think Tampa Bay can stop Washington's Alex Ovechkin on Thursday? The star left wing has six goals, 13 points in five games this season against the Lightning. ... The Lightning's 12 wins and 35 points at the St. Pete Times Forum are both league worsts. ... Left wing Johan Harju, a 2007 sixth-round pick, who had 49 points in 55 games for his Swedish Elite league team, apparently has signed with the KHL's team in Moscow, the Lawton said he hasn't yet gotten confirmation. ... Another former NHL player has joined Tampa Bay defenseman Noah Welch in donating his brain to Boston University's School of Medicine for the study of concussions. Keith Primeau, who retired in 2006 because of multiple concussions, is the third retired player to make a donation. Welch is the only active player to have made such a pledge.