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Tampa Bay Lightning has its eye on Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy

Matt Gilroy, a senior defenseman at Boston University, is one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top college player. BU is in next week’s Frozen Four, and Gilroy will be an unrestricted free agent when it’s over.

Associated Press

Matt Gilroy, a senior defenseman at Boston University, is one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to the top college player. BU is in next week’s Frozen Four, and Gilroy will be an unrestricted free agent when it’s over.

NEWARK, N.J. — The Lightning apparently is one of a handful of teams vying for the services of Boston University senior D Matt Gilroy, one of three finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, given to college hockey's best player.

"He is one of a number of guys we are looking at adding in the next couple of weeks," GM Brian Lawton said.

Gilroy, 24, would be a nice addition for a team that needs 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 some scouting services consider the puck-moving, right-handed shot the nation's top unrestricted free agent coming out of college.

Undrafted, he was a walk-on and is now captain of a Terriers team that Thursday faces Vermont in the semifinals of the Frozen Four and is favored to win it all. He won the '09 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.

The Lightning is believed to have had interest in Gilroy last year when he was deciding whether to return for his senior season. Why would Gilroy consider playing for downtrodden Tampa Bay?

Lawton declined to make further comment, but it is not difficult to connect the dots. The Lightning presents an opportunity to play right away, something an older player with fewer years in front of him would relish.

LECAVALIER SURGERY: The team said Friday's arthroscopic procedure on Lecavalier to clean up damaged cartilage in his right wrist was successful. He should begin unrestricted workouts in four to six weeks.

INJURIES: What would a Lightning game be without them? D Josef Melichar (lower body) and C Ryan Craig (upper body) left Friday's game with the Devils and are questionable for tonight against the Islanders.

PUNISHED: Toronto was docked $500,000 by the league for paying D Jonas Frongren an un­authorized signing bonus. It also was stripped of the fourth-round draft pick Tampa Bay sent it in the deadline deal for D Richard Petiot. The pick simply vanishes.

ODDS AND ENDS: Petiot, who fell on his left shoulder during Tuesday's fight in Boston, was scratched. … LW David Koci was the sixth defenseman, and C Paul Szczechura played after missing five games with a leg injury.

Tampa Bay Lightning has its eye on Boston University defenseman Matt Gilroy 04/03/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 4, 2009 6:23am]
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