The NHL trade deadline hasn't been a quiet one for the Minnesota Wild as they longtime defenseman Nick Schultz to the Edmonton Oilers for Bloomington, Minn., native Tom Gilbert. It seems to be a tough trade for fans of the Wild to swallow and might be even more difficult for the locker room in the Xcel Energy Center.
The Oilers announced the trade while the Wild were still practicing, according to the Star Tribune, leaving quite a few players shocked that Schultz had been sent away including Cal Clutterbuck.
"It's shocking," Clutterbuck said, having trouble getting out words. "He's what this organization is all about. Has been for 10 years."
For what it's worth, Schultz seems to be taking the trade in stride despite the fact that he's been in the Wild system since being drafted in the second round of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and played a total of 743 games with the club.
"I hadn't heard anything until Russo brought it up to me last night actually," Schultz said. "It's always a possibility. I've been here a long time. I've been through a lot of times where my name's come up and nothing's happened. Today it happened, so just kind of deal with it.
"It's been fun. This is a great place to play, great fans, great people. I've had great memories here, great guys on the team. It's tough to go. This is all I know."
On the other end of the spectrum, the 29-year-old Gilbert seems downright giddy that he'll be able to return to Minnesota and play with the Wild.
"It's a great thrill for me, and I'm sure my parents are more ecstatic. They probably won't have to watch me on TV as much. I'm sure they're going to get season tickets now. They're pretty happy, too. ... I hope I'm a great fit."
At least he sounds like he'll be more happy to be in Minnesota than Marek Zidlicky, the defenseman the Wild traded away last week. If he's an upgrade will be determined soon enough.