Posted by: Adventures in Pucking | March 24, 2012

Man of the Day 3/23: Tom Gilbert

Thomas Kelly Gilbert

Born January 10, 1983 in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA

Defenseman for the Minnesota Wild

Another Wild boy? Why not! Tom is a hometown boy, having played hockey in high school in Bloomington (he was made captain his senior year) before moving on to the USHL’s Chicago Steel for two years. After he was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in 2002, he went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for four years and scored the game-winning goal to beat Boston College for the NCAA championship in 2006. Of course, the Avs traded him to the Edmonton Oilers in 2004, but it was all good.

Tom reported to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (don’t ask; I tried to find out why he went there and couldn’t find anything) and played there for 33 games in the 2006-07 season, being called up to Edmonton and making his debut on his birthday in 2007. A month later, he scored his first NHL goal against the Ottawa Senators. The next year, he broke the record for most goals scored by a rookie defenseman and was rewarded with a 6-year contract. Things were fine till January 2, 2012, when Danny Carcillo stupidly smashed into him and injured himself and Tom.

I still have trouble watching that hit.

While Danny took himself out by needing surgery, Tom came back, only to be traded to the Minnesota Wild at the trade deadline for Nick Schultz (I know one Oilers fan who still misses him). He may not have a goal yet, but perhaps he will before the season ends.

Aw, they're in their Christmas-look jerseys!

– Krista

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