Recently acquired Minnesota Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert says his new team ''feels like home.''
Well, that's because it is. Gilbert grew up just less than 20 miles from the Wild's arena in St. Paul and starred for Bloomington Jefferson High School before a standout college career at Wisconsin. In his sixth NHL season, Gilbert was traded by Edmonton to Minnesota.
Gilbert joined the Wild for their morning skate before Tuesday's game against the Los Angeles Kings, his scheduled debut on Minnesota's revamped blue line. Defensemen Marek Zidlicky, Nick Schultz and Greg Zanon were all traded in the last five days.
Schultz was sent to the Oilers for Gilbert. The Wild wanted more of a puck-moving, offensive-minded player, and Gilbert says he's eager to ''just go out there and play hockey.''