A new addition to the Montreal’s blueline during the offseason, Tom Gilbert was brought in to offset the Josh Gorges trade
even though the two stylistically are very different players. Will fans and pundits alike be able to look past who he’s replacing compared to what he brings to the table?
Can he bring a secondary offensive dynamic to a defence that is in need of
Never really blessed with a particularly good team during his NHL career, Gilbert put together a respectable campaign patrolling the Florida Panthers blueline. Statwise, Gilbert posted his best totals in four years. His 28 points on the
season were second in scoring among defencemen on the team and two of his three goals came on the powerplay. While he is labelled as
a puck moving blueliner, he saw played against top players last season, posting
a respectable -5 plus/minus rating considering the club he represented.
Season Stats: GP 73, G 3, A 25, PTS 28, +/- -5, PIM 73, PPG 2, SHG 0, GWG 1, SOG 93, ATOI 21:20
5 Year Averages
(Because of the lockout-shortened season, we are pro-rating all of 2012-13’s numbers over a typical 82-game year.)
We can’t expect much more than a solid, second line defensive pairing with offensive upside that will be looked to for some support on special teams. In terms of leadership, I’d assume, based on Marc Bergevin’s moves, that the leadership core of the Canadiens will be in the hands of the younger generation, so I wouldn’t look to Gilbert too much on that end. I’d say that leadership would play an even lesser role going into the playoffs, as Gilbert has only seen a glimpse of the playoffs during his eight NHL seasons.
You’d have to think there would be an uptick in his production this season as he joins a competent team that came within two games of the Stanley Cup
Final, but Montreal wasn’t that offensively gifted last season. They scored 21 more goals than Florida during the 2013-2014 campaign. Where Gilbert’s increased point production may come is on the second powerplay unit as Montreal’s mediocre powerplay was better than Florida’s league worst showing. While I wouldn’t peg him to best his career high 45 points in
’08-’09, he’ll certainly be well positioned to flirt with the 40 point plateau.