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SAINT PAUL, Minn.The Minnesota Wild continued its quest for precious salary cap space by cutting loose defenseman and hometownboyTom Gilbert Wednesday.

The National Hockey League (NHL) clubplaced the Bloomington native on waivers for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.

"Due to the NHL salary cap decreasing this season, we needed to make this difficult decision to give the team more flexibility," said Fletcher. "We thank Tom for his time with the Wild and wish him the best going forward."

If Gilbert clears waivers the Wild will use a compliance buy-out, as allowed by the NHL's Collective Bargaining Agreement. He will be bought out of his contract and become an unrestricted free agent on Friday, eligible to sign with any team in the NHL, except Minnesota.

Gilbert scored three goals and collected 15 assists in 63 games with Minnesota after being acquired in a trade from the Edmonton Oilers for defenseman Nick Schultzin February of 2012.