Blog Entry

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

Posted on: February 17, 2012 2:22 pm
Edited on: February 17, 2012 3:08 pm
Gill was a member of the Pens' 2008-09 champion team. (Getty Images)

By Brian Stubits

Now the trades are starting to roll in. Took a while.

The Nashville Predators acquired defenseman Hal Gill and a future fifth-round draft pick from the Montreal Canadiens on Friday in exchange for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and a second-round pick.

Gill has been one of the few names figured to for sure be on the trading block in what has been a pretty quiet trade season so far. A veteran defenseman on a team that's has sunk out of the race who doesn't have a contract after this season? Of course there would be demand for him.

His addition makes the Predators even tougher to attack. With already the best pair of defensemen in the game with Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, Gill brings another strong defensive presence. He comes into a situation that's good for him where he won't be asked to play top pairing minutes. He's only averaged 16:44 per game this season.

“Hal Gill brings our team a number of elements -- size, penalty-killing ability, depth on defense and playoff experience,” Preds GM David 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.”

Interstingly, most have been thinking that the Preds needed to upgrade on offense. But realistically, they needed help on the back end as well. The Preds are actually 11th in the league in goals per game with 2.77, equal to the Rangers and Capitals. Defensively they are again 11th in goals against per game, not where you expect a Barry Trotz team to be.

"We felt that we needed to get some veteran experience," Poille said. "I think with Hal Gill we got everything we were looking for."

Some are going to speculate if this means anything for Suter and/or Weber. Stop that. Gill is 36 with no guarantee of being in Nashville next season. If anything, this only helps Nashville's situation with their top defensemen, it shows a commitment to winning and doing it now. They are buyers in an attempt to go for it.

The return package to Montreal isn't too shabby for a 36-year-old rental player. Of particular interest is Geoffrion going to the Canadiens. Of course that's where his legendary grandfather Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion made his Hall of Fame career. Oh, and his great grandfather was Howie Morenz.

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Talk about a legacy and pressure. Geoffrion goes from playing for his hometown team in Nashville to playing for his grandpa's team in Montreal. That's quite a pill to swallow, as he noted via Twitter.

"Wow..what a day...its bitter sweet, going to miss my hometown of nashville, but going to where it all started with my family...MONTREAL!!!"

It seems like a pretty good deal for the Preds to me. You get a good defenseman to help position the Preds for a deeper run this season and they give up a couple of mid-level prospects and a second-round pick. Geoffrion could still develop into a top-six forward, but so far he hasn't been able to show it for the Preds. In the last two seasons he has 22 games in the NHL with six goals and five assists, only three assists in 22 games this season.

The asking price could be pretty big in return. At first brush it looks like a pretty expensive sell and it could prove to be. But the jury is still out on Geoffrion -- granted, he's 23 -- and Slaney while second-round picks very often don't turn to be that big, as Adam Gretz pointed out today.

But if you want to get something you have to give up something.

"The parity that we have in the NHL right now is as close as it's been ... you have to be willing to pay a price to get what you want," Poile said. And he did.

Let's hear your verdict: You like it?

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


Since: Mar 19, 2009
Posted on: February 18, 2012 6:43 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

It looks like ol' Gil is getting traded tonight, cha cha cha...

Since: Feb 11, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2012 6:15 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

Strangely enough Rene Bourque doesn't even speak French, but it looks good on paper. The trade with Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens thought it was good deal, both coming out on top, nice to see that happen now and then, that it is possible.
 Habs picked up a second round for a fifth in that deal, and now another second round by trading Hal Gill away, he's great in the clubhouse, but at 36 and a free agent next year think they did well for themselves. of course getting a longtime pedigree Howie Morentz, Boom Boom Geoffrion pedigree, although he hasn't lit the scoreboard up much, is a good public relations move, yet somehow, don't think he speaks French either, might have picked up some Creole , but Nashville is hardly the place to find French conversation!

Since: Feb 17, 2012
Posted on: February 18, 2012 10:28 am
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator

Since: Mar 2, 2008
Posted on: February 17, 2012 6:18 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

Terrible deal.  Montreal should have just accepted a 2nd or 3rd round pick, maybe even a fourth if they were desperate.  Instead of taking another pro hockey bust Geoffrion.  Tradition should have seriously been ignored this time.  A 2nd or 3rd round pick will probably work out better then a 1st round pick with the consistently incompetent Canadiens GMs of past.  Terrible trade.

Since: May 18, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2012 5:42 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

This move makes TOTAL sense for the Habs. Not from the standpoint that Geoffrion is a good player, but simply because he is related to the former Montreal great "Boom Boom"Geoffrion. That is the reasoning behind this from my point of view. Why else do the Habs make moves. Heck, they traded away Mike Cammalleri for Renee Bourque, I believe simply because they want to "frenchen" up the lineup for the fans. Montreal would rather be french than good. No wonder they suck!!!

Since: Nov 17, 2011
Posted on: February 17, 2012 5:36 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

Deep breaths Jumpin'Joe,deep breaths!

Since: Apr 16, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2012 5:14 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

Jumpin Joe...what drugs are you on? That sequence of posts was insane.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: February 17, 2012 5:01 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

Great trade for a peg leg defenseman. Sure he blocks shots and shit, but he's slow as hell out there.

Since: Feb 2, 2012
Posted on: February 17, 2012 4:28 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

Slaney not Stanley, as in Cup.  Breakin' the deal down with my son J.D. and not bad for a one legger, 16 min. free agent.  I loved his effort!  Gritty as they get and super classy.  Look out for Trotz and the Preds.- they're makin a run at this thing.  Please remove Amateur status, what the hell is that? Covering Sports for WBBM-TV,CBS2 Chicago and FOX32 for over 24 years, who the ^&*^% runs this?  1966 my friends,,,every Expos game, every Duke game, every White Sox game, every Habs game.  every Raiders game.  every Pistons game. Every.  PLUS+++++++, every team that's in those respective leagues.  Not Da' Bears,,,Cubs only team in the country guy.  You get yelled at by your wife, but you DON'T bandwagon. NEVER, EVER bandwagon.  Eat dinner with the Duke game on mute.

Since: Feb 2, 2012
Posted on: February 17, 2012 4:01 pm

Predators trade for Gill, send Geoffrion to Habs

Rinne.  Not Rene.  Kind of like Emmitt. Not Emmit.  Ask Fox! A long time ago.  You want to get it right.  Got it right.  Get it right the first time. Right.

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