Kings address blueline depth, ink Gilbert to one-year, $1.4M deal

Los Angeles had holes to fill on defense this offseason, and it plugged one on Friday by signing veteran Tom Gilbert to a one-year, $1.4 million deal.

Gilbert, 33, is a fairly risky gamble. He was a fairly useful piece for Montreal last season, averaging just under 17 minutes TOI in 45 games, but underwent season-ending knee surgery in February.

Performed by Dr. James Andrews, the procedure will require six months of recovery.

When healthy, Gilbert can be an effective bottom-pairing guy. He’s a decent puck mover with offensive abilities — he had 25 assists in 73 games for Florida three seasons ago — but he’s never been regarded as a good defensive defenseman, and is long in the tooth.

Right now, though, he projects to be fully in the mix for Los Angeles. It’ll be interesting to see what transpires with another veteran blueliner, Matt Greene, who was rumored to be bought out of the final two years of his contract, yet that transaction never went through.

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