Last night, Russo mentioned Nick Schultz was available for trade. I had my doubts. I should know better.
Nick Schultz traded to the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Tom Gilbert. At first blush, this is not a good trade for the Wild. It is going to take some convincing to buy into this one. Gilbert is an offensive d-man, and not a particularly good one. His top production was a 45 point year in 2008-09. He has 17 points in 47 games this year.
The knock on Schultz was that his contract was inflated. As the 70th highest paid d-man in the league, I don't quite understand that line of thinking. He was the rock of the Wild defensive corps, and now Wild fans will see just what he brought to the team. The defensive ability of the Wild just took a major hit.
Keep in mind, Schultz made $3.5 million a year,
and had one year left on his deal and has two years left. Gilbert makes $4 million a year (same as Marek Zidlicky), and is inked through 2014 (numbers via Capgeek). So, you lose a guy that is a known factor, a shut down d-man in exchange for a new Zidlicky.
We'll have a "Let's Meet" on Gilbert tomorrow or later today. For now, someone tell me why this deal makes any sense at all.