Jul 3, 2013, 1:57 PM EST
After just 63 regular-season and five playoff games, Tom Gilbert is done in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, the Wild announced they were waiving the veteran defenseman for the purpose of buying out his contract — a six-year, $24 million deal that expires at the end of the 2013-14 season.
“Due to the NHL salary cap decreasing this season, we needed to make this difficult decision to give the team more flexibility,” Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said in a statement. “We thank Tom for his time with the Wild and wish him the best going forward.”
The Wild will get $4 million in cap relief with the buyout, and pay the remainder of Gilbert’s salary — $3 million — over the course of the next two seasons.
Minnesota acquired Gilbert from Edmonton in 2012, in exchange for Nick Schultz.
The 30-year-old Minnesota native logged a heavy workload at first with the Wild — averaging over 27 minutes per game during the 2011-12 season — but became less of a factor after Ryan Suter was signed last summer and Jonas Brodin emerged as the club’s No. 2 defenseman.
Last year, Gilbert averaged just 19:19 TOI per game and finished with a minus-11 rating.
- Report: Salary cap ‘may be around’ $70 million next season 8
- TGIF: Five NHL games to watch this weekend 3
- Report: Laviolette a candidate to replace Capuano 17
- Sharks say Fleury was ‘shaky’ and ‘fighting it’ in 44-save victory 46
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) 54
- Seguin (concussion) cleared to play tonight 0
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ 87
- Will the Rangers use a compliance buyout on Richards? 9
- Malkin (lower body) to miss tonight’s game versus Sharks 20
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ 59
- Bylsma: Sharks are NHL’s best, ‘with all due respect to Chicago’ (87)
- Flyers’ Couturier: ‘We’re starting to believe in ourselves’ (59)
- Boychuk boarded by Pacioretty, taken off on stretcher (Update: has movement in extremities) (54)
- Lehtonen shines, Roussel agitates as Stars beat ‘Hawks (53)
- Video: Canucks’ Bieksa fights Rangers’ Boyle, then kicks Boyle’s helmet (52)