Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Tom Gilbert buyout process will begin with Wild; Ryan Suter a First-Team All-Star

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news, Wild player moves Updated: July 3, 2013 - 12:53 PM
The Wild has placed Tom Gilbert on unconditional waivers. That is the first necessary step to buy out the remaining one year of the veteran defenseman’s contract.
When Gilbert clears Thursday, the Wild plans to use one of its two allowable compliance buyouts on the 30-year-old native of Bloomington.
“Due to the NHL salary cap decreasing this season, we needed to make this difficult decision to give the team more flexibility,” said GM Chuck Fletcher in a statement. “We thank Tom for his time with the Wild and wish him the best going forward."
Gilbert will receive $1 million in each of the next two seasons (two-thirds of his $3 million salary), but it will free up an additional $4 million of salary cap space this summer for the Wild. This will be the second time Fletcher has bought out a player. Two years ago, he bought out Cam Barker.
The Wild won't necessarily just run to free agent Matt Cullen and re-sign him now. The move is designed to give Minnesota more flexibility this offseason. One can assume the Wild will now need to add a defenseman or two this offseason.
Gilbert would be free to sign with any team other than Minnesota once free agency opens at 11 a.m. CT Friday.
The Wild has already begun making calls on potential replacements. Starting at 11:01 p.m. CT last night, free agents were free to receive calls from other teams.
Fletcher said after Sunday’s draft that he expects there could be bargains in free agency because so many players could lose the game of musical chairs with so little money in the system. Fletcher also believes some players may be willing to take two-way contracts (smaller salary in the minors) or accept pro tryouts.
Gilbert, acquired from Edmonton at the trade deadline two seasons ago for veteran defenseman Nick Schultz, scored three goals and 18 points in 63 games for his hometown Wild.
While this is a move that likely would not have occurred if the Wild didn’t need the cap space, Gilbert did struggle at times last season. He was minus-11 and had to endure a few healthy scratches and decreased ice time. Prior to the season, Gilbert and center Kyle Brodziak, who also had a rough season, each were hit with a type of pneumonia. While neither used the sickness as an excuse, both players lost a lot of weight and Gilbert himself was actually hospitalized.

In other news, Ryan Suter was named to the NHL's First All-Star Team. He led the NHL in average ice time (27:16), playing over 30 minutes 10 times. He was second amongst defensemen in assists (28) and third in points (32).

The news comes a few days after his partner, Jonas Brodin, was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team.

As you can see below, Alex Ovechkin made First and Second Team at different positions. First time this has ever happened and one reason why there was such a delay in the announcement.

2012-2013 NHL First All-Star Team


G Sergei Bobrovsky, Columbus Blue Jackets 38 21 11 6 2.00 .932 4

GP Mins. G A Pts

D P.K. Subban, Montreal Canadiens 42 23:14 11 27 38

D Ryan Suter, Minnesota Wild 48 27:16 4 28 32

C Sidney Crosby, Pittsburgh Penguins 36 21:06 15 41 56

RW Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals 48 20:53 32 24 56

LW Chris Kunitz, Pittsburgh Penguins 48 18:01 22 30 52

2012-2013 NHL Second All-Star Team


G Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers 43 24 16 3 2.05 .926 2

GP Mins. G A Pts

D Francois Beauchemin, Anaheim Ducks 48 23:27 6 18 24

D Kris Letang, Pittsburgh Penguins 35 25:38 5 33 38

C Jonathan Toews, Chicago Blackhawks 47 19:20 23 25 48

RW Martin St. Louis, Tampa Bay Lightning 48 21:59 17 43 60

LW Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals 48 20:53 32 24 56


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 42 3rd Qtr
LA Clippers 41
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
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