Tom Gilbert figured he had found a permanent home when traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Minnesota Wild.

He was, after all, a Minnesota native.

Yet things didn’t work out as planned with the Wild. Gilbert was bought out, leaving him in the NHL wilderness until the Florida Panthers came calling.

“It was different, I had to be pretty patient this summer not knowing where I was going to be,” Gilbert said. “There were so many things you can’t control and for me, it was definitely new not having a place to play and trying to figure out where I was going to go.

“On the other hand, it was a good summer for me, I went into it and worked hard and it didn’t matter where I was going to play. If I got the opportunity, I was going to go in there, work hard and earn a spot on the team. This has been a great opportunity for me here in Florida.”

Gilbert attended Panthers camp on a tryout and was able to earn a spot on the roster.

He’s played in all 14 games for the Panthers this season, collecting a pair of assists.

“I think I fit in really well here,” Gilbert said. “Unfortunately, we’d like to have more success, but the team has been playing well and we’re going in the right direction.”