Saturday, April 12, 2008

Gilbert Ca$hes in on Great Rookie Season

Photo from Lowetide's Oilers Blog

Edmonton Oilers Defenseman and Badger Alumni (not to mention my favorite player) Tom Gilbert signed a 6 year, $24 million contract this week, keeping his services in Oil Country for a good long time.

Tom had a great rookie campaign. He finished 10th in the league in rookie scoring and second for defensemen, w/ 33 pts. On top of that, he took two Oilers rookie defensemen records from Paul Coffey in both points and goals (13). Paul Coffey had some nice comments about Tom back when broke the rookie Dman goal record. One thing that impresses me about Tom's stats is his shooting precentage, he ended the season at 13.3%. He isn't wasting his shots from the blue line, he is making them count.

I think this is a good move for Tom. Edmonton has some great young talent on that team (Sam Gagner, Ales Hemsky, Andrew Cogliano) and a decent veteran core and in a few years could be a great team as players develop and they add some key people.

Its nice to see so many guys from the 2006 Championship team really getting their footing and a few more just a step away. Adam Burish, Joe Pavelski and Tom have all established themselves this season. Robbie Earl, Jack Skille and Brian Elliot hopefully aren't too far away from joining them, and it would be nice to see Jake Dowell crack the Blackhawks as a regular too.

This extension gives 60min and I a lot of time to get to Edmonton to see him play.