There’s a lot of funny stuff that goes down in the NHL, particularly at the trade deadline and during free agency.  Plenty of bad contracts were moved, and plenty of players I personally don’t rate moved along.

One of the more interesting pieces (g/t Lowetide) to come out was a comment by Toronto Star columnist Damien Cox, who tweeted this item:

Best offer Oilers got for Gilbert at the deadline? A seventh round pick for Gilbert PLUS a second. That’s the cost of bad contracts.


Like Lowetide, I was shocked to see that.  Gilbert was in the middle of a bad season at the start of March, but just a year prior he’d been the highest scoring American defenceman in the league, an Olympic candidate, and was coming off his second great offensive season. 

Apparently the combination of one bad season and a long-term contract for middling money was enough to torpedo two years of great accomplishment at the the NHL level.  That seems rash to me, and given Tom Gilbert’s play since I imagine a few NHL teams would agree with me. 

Over his last 21 games, Gilbert has three goals and 17 assists for a total of 20 points, along with a plus-3 rating.  On a team that was far and away the worst in the NHL.  I imagine a few teams might have been willing to cough up more than a seventh round pick had they seen that coming.