After just 63 regular-season and five playoff games, Tom Gilbert is done in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, the Wild announced they were waiving the veteran defenseman for the purpose of buying out his contract — a six-year, $24 million deal that expires at the end of the 2013-14 season.
“Due to the NHL salary cap decreasing this season, we needed to make this difficult decision to give the team more flexibility,” Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said in a statement. “We thank Tom for his time with the Wild and wish him the best going forward.”
The Wild will get $4 million in cap relief with the buyout, and pay the remainder of Gilbert’s salary — $3 million — over the course of the next two seasons.
Minnesota acquired Gilbert from Edmonton in 2012, in exchange for Nick Schultz.
The 30-year-old Minnesota native logged a heavy workload at first with the Wild — averaging over 27 minutes per game during the 2011-12 season — but became less of a factor after Ryan Suter was signed last summer and Jonas Brodin emerged as the club’s No. 2 defenseman.
Last year, Gilbert averaged just 19:19 TOI per game and finished with a minus-11 rating.
You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.
We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.
“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.
These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.
Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.
It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.
With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.
It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.
Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:
It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).
As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.
Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:
This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.
Update: Bullet dodged?