Edmonton Oilers defenseman is a famous Minnesotan in hockey. Now, he's a member of the Minnesota Wild, dealt hours before the NHL Trade Deadline for defenseman Nick Schultz.
Gilbert brings an offensive element to the Wild blueline that they lost in Marek Zidlicky — not when he was traded, but when he stopped being Marek Zidlicky. The former Wisconsin Badger averaged 0.41 points per game in his career, with 17 in 47 games this season for the Oil.
In Schultz, the Oilers get a much more physical D-man and a shot-blocker (121). Bryan Reynolds of Hockey Wilderness didn't want to see him go:
Russo mentioned Nick Schultz as a possibility to be moved. While some feel this would not be a major loss to the team, what Schultz brings to the table is far beyond the score sheet. He is a prime example of why stats cannot always explain the game, or who is good at the game. A quiet, rock steady D-man who makes few mistakes, and is a constant minute muncher? Yeah. That's a loss if you trade him away.
One point of embarrassment for the Wild, according to Michael Russo: "Nick Schultz wasn't even told by Wild that he was traded before Oilers tweeted it. Pretty ticked off organization here." Russo also reports Wild players were as stunned as Schultz was.
We're going to give this deal Two Milburys.
Both players are signed through 2014, but Gilbert has the higher cap hit ($4 million to $3.5 million). The Oilers could win this one down the line.