BROSSARD, Que.— Montreal Canadiens defenceman Tom Gilbert will meet with doctors Monday to evaluate the severity of his lower-body injury.
Gilbert was injured in the second period of Montreal’s 3-2 shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Feb. 19. He’s listed as day-to-day and the Canadiens haven’t called up anyone from St. John’s with the minor league AHL affiliate to take his place.
Gilbert has a goal and two assists in 45 games with the Canadiens this season.
“I think Gilbert’s had a very good year, and I don’t know what the numbers are going to say about that,” said Canadiens forward Brendan Gallagher on Monday. “When you’re on the ice with him, he makes it so much easier; his patience with the puck.
“He’s a guy that—I don’t know if you’ve noticed lately—is always really jumping up, joining the cycle and playing down low; stuff that maybe goes unnoticed on a stat sheet at the end of the game, but his teammates really notice it. He’s also a great locker room guy.”
Gilbert’s absence from the locker room from Dec. 22-Feb. 2, due to a lower body injury, was noticeable–as the Canadiens collected just four wins in 15 games over that stretch.
Since returning to Montreal’s lineup, the 6-foot-2 defenceman has consistently been given more than 17 minutes of ice time, topping out at 24:42 against Colorado last Wednesday.
Gilbert’s name had been circulating in trade rumours before his latest injury. The pending unrestricted free agent has not received an offer to renew his contract from Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin, and his prorated $2.3 million salary is digestible for any time looking for depth at the trade deadline.
Another Canadiens player with an expiring contract is Tomas Fleischmann. The 31-year-old Czech Republic native, who signed with the Canadiens for $750,000 after trying out with them in training camp, is also widely considered to be available on the trade market.
Fleischmann has nine goals and 10 assists in 55 games this season. He was a healthy scratch for Montreal’s last two games, but will take forward Lucas Lessio’s spot in the lineup for their game against the Nashville Predators Monday night.