by Lisa McRitchie on 02/27/12 at 04:25 PM ET
The Edmonton Oilers have announced their first trade, Tom Gilbert in exchange for Nick Schultz, previously of the Minnesota Wild.
Gilbert has been known as a more offensive defenceman, while Schultz is more of a stay at home defenseman.
With the improved play of Jeff Petry this season, a player who has only been in the lineup due to injury, Gilbert became a tradable commodity in the eyes of Oilers management.
Schultz will carry with him a $3.5M cap hit, and is a year older than Gilbert but leaving the Wild’s organization, Schultz may bring with him a grudge:
Michael Russo @Russostrib Nick Schultz wasn’t even told by #mnwild that he was traded before #oilers tweeted it. Pretty ticked off organization here
Moving Gilbert will have more of an impact on the Oilers’ core and their culture. Gilbert is known as a more offensive defenseman, breaking Paul Coffey’s record for the most goals scored by a rookie defenceman with 13 in the 2007-2008 season. The Oilers have been looking for a puck moving defenseman and with this move have acquired another stay at home defenceman which may make life a little easier for Ladislav Smid. This move should also help the Oilers in their own zone, something they desperately need to work on as well as adding a player who is slightly more physical.
Gilbert was extremely popular in the Oilers’ locker room and polarized fans outside. Most people either loved or hated Gilbert with very few feeling “meh” or indifference.
I look forward to see Schultz on the Oilers’ blueline, but he will not play tonight in Winnipeg.
It’s interesting to see an intradivisional trade, but they do happen from time to time
Sportsnet’ Mark Spector seems to have summed the trade up the best so far:
Mark Spector Sports @SportsnetSpec Term and money nearly identical with Schultz, Gilbert. This tells you #Oilers simply ready to part with Gilbert. Never panned out. #SNtrade
Oilers’ head coach Tom Renney made it clear addressing the media that Gilbert did not disappoint the organization, and that this is about bringing in a different style of player.
And for Tom Gilbert himself, he received the news in a phone call from Steve Tambellini, and while speaking with TSN has said that he is excited to play for a team that is in the push for the playoffs. He is also very excited about returning to his home state of Minnesota.
And from the point of view of Minnesota Wild writer Bryan Reynolds of Hockey Wilderness
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.
UPDATE: he Minnesota Wild have provided audio from Nick Schultz speaking with TSN following the trade.
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Lisa McRitchie is a fairly new writer, online at least, but makes up for inexperience with passion for the game of hockey and memories of Mrs. Leskiw’s English AP class; who knew they would pay off one day.
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