|English: Tom Gilbert in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Michael Russo, Russo's Rants -- The Wild plans to place Tom Gilbert on unconditional waivers, sources say. That is the first necessary step to buy out the remaining one year of the veteran defenseman’s contract.Here was my grade season ending grade for Tom Gilbert that I submitted for the Hockey Wilderness. Incidentally, I look like I will be getting my wish as Justin Falk was traded this week to the New York Rangers.
When Gilbert clears, the Wild plans to use one of its two allowable compliance buyouts on the 30-year-old native of Bloomington.
What's unclear, and we'll know soon, is whether Gilbert will go on unconditional waivers today or tomorrow. A correction to yesterday's blog: Teams have until tomorrow to put somebody on unconditional waivers for the purpose of using a compliance buyout by tomorrow's 4 p.m. CT deadline.
Gilbert will receive $1 million in each of the next two seasons (two-thirds of his $3 million salary), but it will free up an additional $4 million of salary cap space this summer for the Wild.
The move is designed to give Minnesota more flexibility this offseason. One can assume the Wild will need to add a defenseman or two this offseason. Gilbert would be free to sign with any team once free agency opens at 11 a.m. CT Friday.
Tom Gilbert: D
The former Wisconsin Badger Tom Gilbert is an utter disappointment in my opinion, that Wild are being cheated, he’s not worth the money he’s being paid. Gilbert is being paid a hefty four million a year to be a turnover factory and an unimpressive top-six defenseman. If I was a general manager for a day, he would be the first Wild player out of Minnesota; Justin Falk would be number two. The Wild should consider his four million dollar contract for an Amnesty buyout this summer as well. If they Wild could trade him for a bag of wood hockey sticks I would urge them to consider the deal. One positive is that he can’t play any worse than he did this season. Nowhere to go but up for Gilbert, I don’t think he can play any worse. Looking at the stats, in the plus/minus department, -11 is brutal.