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Panthers’ Gilbert out for year after sports hernia surgery

Mar 27, 2014, 11:41 AM EDT

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Florida defenseman Tom Gilbert will miss the remainder of this season to undergo surgery on a sports hernia, the Miami Herald reports.

Gilbert, 31, had a solid campaign in Florida this year, his first since being bought out of his six-year, $24 million contract by Minnesota in the summer. The 31-year-old had appeared in all 73 Panthers games prior to getting shut down, scoring three goals and 28 points while averaging 21:20 TOI per game.

There normally wouldn’t be much to write about a guy being shut down on team that’s destined to miss the playoffs, but Gilbert should be an interesting one to watch this summer. A pending UFA — he played in Florida this season on a one-year, $900,000 deal — Gilbert’s bounce-back season should garner him some tire-kicking on the open market. He’s a decent offensive defenseman with plenty of experience, and the free agent blueline pool isn’t all that deep.

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