Check PHT each weekday for the first four weeks of June for a new pending unrestricted free agent of the day. Today’s UFA of the Day is…
Not the flashiest name to kick off this series, but a solid veteran in the highly coveted category of right-shooting defensemen.
Gilbert played 73 games for the Panthers this season, registering three goals and 25 assists while logging 21:20 of ice time per contest. A favorite of the analytics community, the 31-year-old’s most productive year was with the Oilers in 2008-09, when he scored 45 points, with 14 power-play assists.
Potentially hurting Gilbert’s ability to cash in on July 1? The fact he just had surgery for a sports hernia.
Gilbert played last season for just $900,000, signing with the Panthers after being bought out by Minnesota. Florida general manager Dale Tallon would reportedly like to keep the player, and remember that the club has new ownership that’s willing to open its wallet. So it’s possible he might be locked up by July 1.
Bottom line: Gilbert isn’t going to win a Norris Trophy, and he doesn’t play a particularly physical game. But 204 points in 520 career NHL games is nothing to sneeze at, especially when you consider the offensively challenged/downright bad teams he’s played for.