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.

Comments (14)

  1. Willis is this post a sly way to try and call Cox out for being full of shit?
    If so I like. Damien Cox is scum

  2. I’m still trying to figure out why Damien Cox hates Tom Gilbert so much.
    Is a 4 million dollar cap hit that outrageous for a 27 year old D-man who can easily put up 40 points a year?
    Isn’t there a guy just down the highway making 7 million this year who got even less points than Gilbert? Gilbert’s contract doesn’t seem that bad to me.

  3. Rod Blogojevich: I have no reason to doubt what Cox reported, although I wonder how he could know that was the best offer. That said, if true it’s ludicrous.

  4. It’s probably for the best that the Oilers got poor offers for Gilbert. Having him and Whitney together worked out real well. So having him around will probably work out for the best as long as they can figure out where the rest of defense fit in the Oilers defense should be good next year. Goaltending and offense could be another story though.

  5. Well, maybe he got only one offer. If Tambellini wasn’t shopping him, maybe someone just floated something out there to see if he would bite. I mean, this guy signed Khabibulin for $15 million for 4. In which case good on the gm for trying and good on Tambellini for not biting.

  6. I think there are some moving parts in this one…

    first…Tom Gilbert sucks. That’s the big part of the equation. Nothing worse on the blueline than a skill guy/turnover machine that has middling skills,you can find a guy to rack up 20 pts on the PP while coughing up the puck 2 or 3 times a game pretty much anywhere.

    second…10.5 mil over the next 2 seasons. Sure it goes down after that but the dude isn’t worth 4 mil; what GM is going to pin his career and the fortunes of his team on a mediocre offensive defenseman being paid at a near elite level. The fact that he makes 3.5 mil in year 5 of the 6 year deal wont save someone’s job in years 3 and 4 of the contract.

    third…if a homeless bum is offering you his Rolex for $5,000; offer him a sandwich and a bottle of rye. He has no leverage and you already have a perfectly fine watch. A Rolex isn’t going to change your life and neither will Tom Gilbert (unless you are the GM that hands him a 6 year deal or the GM that trades actual assets for the guy).

  7. are you going to find reasons to keep talking about the Oilers for the entire playoffs? Let me know now so I can delete this blog from my bookmarks.

  8. Noskillgill:

    Tom Gilbert has been easily the Oilers’ best two-way guy all season, and he’s hardly a turnover machine. Not even close, in fact.


    Tomorrow’s all playoff stuff.

  9. @ugh

    By all means delete this blog from your list; all it will do is raise the intelligence level which can only be a good thing.

  10. reading Ugh above I had to come on and say i really in enjoy this blog and I’m stoked for playoff posts tomorrow….spending 8 hours a day in front of a computer at work, blogs with 3 or 4 new articles a day and intelligent commenters are a real help.

  11. What Vince said.

    And even though I’m not an Oilers fan, I really don’t mind Oil posts like this one where you look at potential trade value/value to a team for a specific player. I like to know what goes on in the rest of the NHL, even during the playoffs.

    Though I am looking forward to some playoffs-related posts!

  12. JW-Gilbert stinks,that’s why they had to go out and get Whitney.
    He doesn’t hit, he ran a powerplay that was mediocre and he averages a turnover per game. I’ll admit to applying the machine label liberally but I stand by my assessment that he isn’t worth a 5th rounder to a team that plans on winning games. At least, he wasn’t this year. I’d suggest that he is an Oiler at least until the 2012 trade deadline.

  13. Not just Damien Cox, jeanshorts. I really don’t get why so many Oiler fans have a hate on for this guy. He’s a terrific young defenseman who the Oilers are fortunate to have signed long term. The fact that they’re getting terrible offers like the one mentioned above (if true) is fine as long as it means the Oilers aren’t trading him. I find it a lot more disturbing that it seems like Tambellini was taking offers for him in the first place.

  14. Noskillgill: That’s an incredibly poor assessment of the Whitney trade. The Oilers had to go out and get Whitney because they were trading Visnovsky, had dumped Grebeshkov for a pick and Souray, Smid and Peckham were done for the season.

    Even with Whitney, the Oilers were running out Chorney, Strudwick and Arsene every single night.

    Going forward, the blueline is equally thin: as it stands, AHL defenceman Taylor Chorney is #5 on the depth chart heading into next season (and that’s with Souray on the team, which he won’t be). The Oilers brought in Whitney because they needed to add a defenceman, not because of issues with Gilbert.

    As for running the power play, Gilbert was option number four this season, which is a big part of the reason his numbers dived off a cliff.

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