If the deal is Gilbert for Clutterbuck and Harding, Minnesota loves it and wins. They bring Gilbert back home to roost and they significantly improve their D Corps. When you have MAB playing significant minutes you would benefit from a re-think. If MAB can turn it around under Lemaire, just imagine Gilbert with Lemaire in his hometown?
Gilbert is easily among the top ES point producers on D in the NHL and it is his 2nd year in the league. He is also good all-around, smart stick, great hockey sense and poise. Is that really a dime a dozen? Maybe if there is only ONE dime to go around, because there are less than a dozen players who can lay claim to the same strengths.
Gilbert has had VERY limited PP time and it is very reasonable to assume that his point totals would be much higher if he received frequent PP1 ice time. Hits Pts and G per 60 minutes of PP played in his career is quite high.
Given that the majority of his production this year came at ES (which is exceptionally rare for a D-man scoring over 40 pts), lets see who has outperformed him.
(LIST INCLUDES ONLY DEFENCEMEN WHO HAVE PLAYED AT LEAST HALF THE GAMES THIS SEASON; to eliminate skewed numbers due to small sample size.)
Mike Green 1.54 Pts/60 Es Min
Brian Rafalski 1.39 Pts/60 Es Min
Dustin Byfuglien 1.33 Pts/60 Es Min
Shea Weber 1.30 Pts/60 ES Min
Rob Blake 1.27 Pts/60 ES Min
Tom Gilbert 1.26 Points per 60 ES Minutes
(numbers as per behindthenet.ca , special note: I did not include Matt Hunwick despite his having played slightly over half of the games... hes a great young player but being his first 49 game segment ever in the NHL I opted him out this time around.)
So Tom Gilbert is the sixth most effective OFD at ES in the NHL. As I said earlier, his PP numbers are strong as well but he just doesn't get enough ice time at the moment.
Do you see any Minnesota defenders on that list? That is why they should be interested in Gilbert.
Harding is promising but still hasn't proven much other than being a strong back-up. Clutterbuck brings quality elements to the ice but his limited offensive production is likely to keep him from ever being a top 6 option.
Edmonton clearly gives up the most valuable element with the most value, signed long term. If Edmonton fans weren't so finnicky he would probably be on a list of untouchables.
Edmonton gets hosed in this deal.
Some of you Edmonton fans sure do love your ES points / 60 minutes stats.
You'd think with both Grebeshkov AND Gilbert on the point, you guys would actually have a playoff berth. But considering you have one of the worst GAA's in the league, and that as much as you want to pimp Gilbert as one of the best offensive dmen going he still has only four goals, I really don't think they're as elite as some of you folks with your wonky stat lines really think.
At 44 points he's good for 18th overall in defensemen scoring. The fact that he doesn't play as much as many other defensemen around the league is not a "plus".
And talking bad about Minny defenders? Really? They've allowed 50 less goals then Edmonton has. 50.
Acquiring Gilbert would be a way to help that. The guy is going to score about 45 points this year with minimal PP time, moves the puck well, and is young. A skilled forward set is hard to utilize without a puck moving defensive corps, and Gilbert would certainly help that.
The thing is, the Wild do have a pretty good puck moving D corps - Johnsson, Burns, Zidlicky, even Bergeron. The whole reason Zidlicky and Bergeron were acquired - according to Doug Risebrough - was because their offensive talent from the back end would help make up for the loss of Rolston and Demitra and would make the Wild's forward corps more effective, kind of like what you're saying. Obviously it hasn't worked out that way, though both Zidlicky and Bergeron have been good offensively.
None of this is a knock on Tom Gilbert; he's just not a fit because of his contract and the Wild already have enough defenseman.
9 goals 6 assists for 15 points is not a guy who you put in the top 6. He is a gritty in your face 4th line guy who works hard, hits everything that moves, and battles. Decent skater and feel could be an exceptional guy on the PK.
He is far better than a "decent skater" and 10 goals in his rookie year playing on primarily a checking line with the way he shoots the puck tells me he will be a consistant 20 goal scorer. How many goals did Sam Gagner score last year as a rookie and how many does he have this year?
Edmonton is not overpaying here. Bryzgalov was picked up one waivers for crying out loud. Huet was worth a second.
I just don't see a backup goaltender and a guy with third line upside, being worth a solid top four defender who also still has alot of room to grow into his game.
I wouldn't make this trade from the Oilers perspective. Goalies that are as good as Harding are a dime a dozen. Ditto for guys like Clutterbuck.
The Oilers can find players like that without giving up roster players, so why should they?
Then you should have picked up Bryzgalov when he was available. Harding has a career save % of over 92 which although he hasn't played much doesn't mean at 25 you give him away.
Just look at the teams looking for a young goaltender Toronto, Philly, Detroit, Colorado, Edmonton shall I go on?
This isn't about the Wild needing to unload Harding for nothing. Honestly the Wild will either get a 1st rounder or top 6 forward for him. They will also play every one of the handful of teams who need a young goaltender against each other to drive the price up which is exactly what they should do.
I found an interesting post on a blog the other day. Would Minny match a 1 year $2.6M (2nd round compensation) offer sheer sheet for Harding, or would they take the pick?
More than 1 year and the Wild could decide to stick it out for a year then trade Harding afterward for a better return, With a 1 year offer sheet, Minny not only has to spend $8.6M on their goaltending tandem, but they can't trade Harding for a year and basically guarantee that they'll be in the exact same position next offseason.
And if a 1 year offer sheet will only cost ~$2.6M and a 2nd round pick, why would Edmonton trade one of their young top 4 defensemen?