Friday, February 17, 2012

Predators Trade for Hal Gill

The Nashville Predators have acquired defenseman Hall Gill and a conditional 5th round draft pick from the Montreal Candiens, sending Blake Geoffrion, AHL defenseman Robert Slaney, and a 2012 second round draft pick back the other way. The conditional draft pick the Predators picked up from Montreal will become effective if Geoffrion plays 40 games for the Canadiens.

In acquiring Gill, the Predators get a solid and sizable defensive presence, a stay at home defenseman that excels on the PK and has extensive playoff experience as well as having won the Cup with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Drafted by Boston in 1993, Gill has played for the Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, Penguins, and the Canadiens. He has played in 1,047 regular season games and 105 playoff games.

Gill will join the Predators tonight in Detroit, but is not expected to play.

In Geoffrion, the Canadiens acquire the first player that was born in Nashville that has made it to the NHL as well as a player that has a rich legacy with the Habs. Geoffrion's father, Danny, played for Montreal, as did his grandfather, "Boom Boom" Geoffrion and his great grandfather, Howie Morenz. Geoffrion has been playing for the Predators AHL affiliate in Milwaukee since December after opening the season on the Predators roster.

Here is the press release from the Predators:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has acquired veteran defenseman Hal Gill and a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2013 Entry Draft from Montreal in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft and forwards Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slaney. He is expected to meet the team today in Detroit.

"Hal Gill brings our team a number of elements - size, penalty-killing ability, depth on defense and playoff experience," Poile said. "He has won a Stanley Cup and played a combined 69 playoff games over the last four years, experience that significantly benefits our team."

Gill, 36 (4/6/75), has suited up for 1,047 regular-season games (36g-143a-179pts, 940 PIMs) and 105 playoff contests (0g-6a-6pts, 68 PIMs) since 1997-98 - more than any player currently on the Predators roster. He appeared in back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals in 2008 and 2009 with Pittsburgh, winning the Cup in 2009. One of the League's tallest players at 6-7, 240 pounds, Gill has eight points (1g-7a) and 29 penalty minutes thus far in 2011-12 playing in his third season with the Canadiens.
The Concord, Mass., native was drafted 207th overall (eighth round) by Boston in the 1993 Entry Draft, and played eight seasons with the Bruins (1997-2006) before stints in Toronto and (2006-08) Pittsburgh (2007-09).
The Predators now have eight draft picks for the 2012 NHL Entry Draft to be held June 22-23, 2012 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. - their own picks in the first, and fourth through seventh rounds, in addition Toronto's third-round pick, Phoenix's fourth rounder and the New York Rangers' sixth-round selection.

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