The Minnesota Wild placed defenseman Tom Gilbert on unconditional waivers Wednesday, planning to use one of their two compliance buyouts available should Gilbert clear waivers on Thursday.
Gilbert would become an unrestricted free agent Friday and free to sign with any team but Minnesota.
Gilbert has one year left on a contract that carries a $4 million salary-cap value. The Wild would have to pay him two-thirds of that over the next two years if he clears waivers and is bought out.
"Due to the NHL salary cap decreasing this season, we needed to make this difficult decision to give the team more flexibility," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "We thank Tom for his time with the Wild and wish him the best going forward."
Gilbert had 18 points in 63 games with the Wild after being acquired in a trade from the Edmonton Oilers for Nick Schultz on Feb. 27, 2012.