Found February 17, 2012 on The Predatorial:

Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

As you likely know by now, the Predators acquired hulking defenseman Hal Gill and a conditional 5th from the Montreal Canadiens for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2nd rd pick, a little earlier this afternoon.

Some quick analysis on the trade, its components, and what it means for the Predators, going forward:

First, the trade itself wasn’t completely unexpected.  David Poile and Barry Trotz have made no secret that they were looking for a veteran defenseman with some size and experience to help stabilize the bottom four.  Yes, the bottom four.  There is a predictable faction, mostly outside of Nashville, that see this as a harbinger of a Suter or Weber trade.  Fortunately, I or any other reasonably-not-a-moron fellow could tell you that this move fills an existing need–it doesn’t create a surplus.

Gill could play on either the second or third pair, and will likely spell Suter and Weber somewhat on the first penalty kill unit.  Everyone’s favorite whipping-boy Kevin Klein has played reasonably well this season, but outside of him, the defense is plagued by questions of size, consistency, and experience.  If you add the combined height and weight of Bouillon, Hillen, and Ellis– you have a player that’s roughly the size of Hal Gill.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but the defense lacked size.  In addition, while Ellis and Josi have been mostly steady, I worried that their inexperience would start to show more and more as they were placed into high pressure situations in the playoffs.  This takes a little responsibility off one, and likely allows the other to either a) develop in a higher-minute situation in Milwaukee or b) be included in a trade for an impact forward.  And if Ellis or Josi is traded–I’d imagine the emphasis would be on “impact.”

Additionally, I suspect this means the end of Jack Hillen’s turbulent stint as a Nashville Predator.  Designated healthy scratch over the past few weeks when everyone else could go, I suspect you’ll see him on waivers as early as tomorrow morning.

There are two options for how Gill could be used, as I see it:  paired with Klein or paired with Bouillon.  In the first option, it allows Josi to fall back into a role that might be better suited for his experience level.  On the downside, that pairing has played pretty well together, and it’s really the third pairing that’s needed size and help.  If you play him with Bouillon, you limit Gill’s even strength time and put him in a situation to succeed, while also keeping a pairing that HAS worked out together.  You also give Bouillon a chance to get back to a level of play that we’ve seen previously, but not this season.  The cost of this strategy is that Josi, who has suffered from infrequent but usually-painful brainfarts, continues to play pretty big minutes.  It will be interesting to see what Trotz and crew do.

As for what we gave up–the pick is the most painful part.  It’s a high pick in an okay draft, but with Nicklas Grossman fetching a 2nd and 3rd from Philly yesterday, the market was pretty well set.  As I stated earlier on Twitter, I’m not sweating losing Blake Geoffrion.  He’s a nice kid, and a great story.  I hope that he succeeds and continues to reflect positively on his hometown and family history, but as a prospect he’s not a big loss.  He’s struggled to score even at the AHL level, and if he does make it to the NHL, it will be as a dime-a-doze bottom line forward.  In other words– the kind of player that our system is practically overflowing with.  I suspect that if his hometown was Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan–no one even knows who he is.

Robert Slaney was a toss-in, in the Franson\Lombardi deal.  Not likely to ever be an AHL regular, let alone NHL.  I suspect we were just trying to dump a contract to keep ourselves comfortably below the 50-man limit.

We also received a conditional 5th, with the pick coming to Nashville if Blake plays 40 or more games in Montreal, next season.

All in all, Gill is a guy that I hoped we would be able to pick up.  He fills the need for size, he’s won a cup, and he has a reputation for stepping up his game in the playoffs.  He should stabilize our bottom pair, which has been a weakness all season.  The Predators’ penalty kill should also benefit, as this is where he excels.

Should be a perfect fit.


Preds acquire Gill; send famous name to Habs

The Nashville Predators added a key piece for their expected playoff run in a trade with Montreal on Friday and, in the process, sent a player to the Canadiens who has a legendary family history with the NHL's most storied franchise. The Predators picked up 36-year-old, 6-foot-7 defenseman Hal Gill, who won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009 and helped eighth-seeded Montreal...

Press Release: Hal Gill acquired from Montreal

The following is a press release from the Predators...Nashville, Tenn. (February 17, 2012) – 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...

Transcript of Poile’s conference call following Gill trade

Here are some of the highlights from Predators GM David Poile’s conference call with the media today, regarding the acquisition of defenseman Hal Gill from Montreal.Opening remarks…The Predators are pleased to add Hal Gill to our defense core. We have been happy with our defense this year, but we felt we needed to get some veteran experience and some size. With Hal Gill I think...

Link City: Gill to Preds

Montreal traded Hal Gill to the [Predators] for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a second-round pick in 2012.  The Predators get a conditional fifth-round pick if Geoffrion plays 40 games for Montreal next season.   Last night, the [Sharks] acquired Dominic Moore and a seventh-round pick in a trade with the Lightning.  The Sharks gave up a second-round pick that...

Predators Add Gill, Geoffrion to Montreal

  We've seen the first big-name defenseman move for this year's deadline, but not to Philadelphia or Chicago as we expected. Instead the strong get stronger. The Nashville Predators acquired Hal Gill from the Montreal Canadiens, as well as a conditional pick in 2013, in exchange for Blake Geoffrion and forward Robert Slaney. Gill has 8 points in 53 games this season...

Lasting lessons

Tweet BROSSARD – Hal Gill may be gone, but his legacy in the Canadiens dressing room isn’t going anywhere. One of the more ...

A Predators fan reacts to the Hal Gill trade

Today the Nashville Predators traded Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2nd round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Hal Gill and a conditional 2013 5th round pick. We found the reaction of the one Preds fan that exists…

2012 NHL trade deadline deals tracker

2012 NHL deadline deals (Trades completed Feb. 16 or later) Team Gets Date Gets Team D Hal Gill Conditional fifth-round pick (2013) Feb. 17 Read about it F Blake Geoffrion F Robert Slaney Second-round pick (2012) F Dominic Moore Seventh-round pick Feb. 16 Read about it Second-round Pick (2012) D Nicklas Grossman Feb. 16 Read about it Second-round pick( 2012) Third-round pick...

Canadiens send Gill to Predators for Geoffrion

MONTREAL (AP) - The Montreal Canadiens will have a "Geoffrion" in their lineup again.Blake Geoffrion, the grandson of Canadiens legend Bernie (Boom Boom) Geoffrion, is on his way to Montreal from Nashville along with a second-round draft pick for defenseman Hal Gill and a conditional fifth-round pick.The 23-year-old Geoffrion appeared ...
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