The deep just got deeper.
Gilbert will report to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League.
The 34-year-old Minnesota native registered five points (one goal, four assists) in 18 games with the Kings this season before falling out of favour with the big club. He cleared waivers on Feb. 2 and collected an assist in five games with the Ontario Reign of the AHL.
L.A. only receives a fifth-round pick if Washington wins two or more playoff rounds this spring and Gilbert plays in 50 per cent or more of the Capitals’ total post-season games, according to reports.
The Kings will also retain 20 per cent of Gilbert’s salary.
L.A. signed the right-shot defenceman to a one-year, $1.4-million contract in the summer. Gilbert will again become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Washington’s lack of defensive depth was exposed during the 2016 playoffs when Brooks Orpik got sidelined by a heavy Ryan White hit in Round 1.
A fourth-round selection (129th overall) by Colorado at the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, Gilbert has played 11 seasons in the NHL with Montreal, Florida, Minnesota, Edmonton and Los Angeles.
In 655 career regular-season games he has 223 points (45 goals, 178 assists) and 198 penalty minutes.
In 17 career playoff games, Gilbert has five points (two goals, three assists) and 16 penalty minutes.