Panthers’ Gilbert out for year after sports hernia surgery

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Florida defenseman Tom Gilbert will miss the remainder of this season to undergo surgery on a sports hernia, the Miami Herald reports.

Gilbert, 31, had a solid campaign in Florida this year, his first since being bought out of his six-year, $24 million contract by Minnesota in the summer. The 31-year-old had appeared in all 73 Panthers games prior to getting shut down, scoring three goals and 28 points while averaging 21:20 TOI per game.

There normally wouldn’t be much to write about a guy being shut down on team that’s destined to miss the playoffs, but Gilbert should be an interesting one to watch this summer. A pending UFA — he played in Florida this season on a one-year, $900,000 deal — Gilbert’s bounce-back season should garner him some tire-kicking on the open market. He’s a decent offensive defenseman with plenty of experience, and the free agent blueline pool isn’t all that deep.

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.