Gill to Predators Trade Analysis
Since the beginning of the season, ownership and management of the Predators said they are committed to winning a cup and proving to its players that they are no longer hiding behind the excuse of being an expansion team.
On Friday, Hal Gill of the Montreal Canadians was traded to the Nashville Predators for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2nd round pick and made another statement in the process. While most consider this an overpayment by the Preds, it may not be considering what it means to the organization on top of what it does for the roster.
Over the offseason the predators went with a youth movement because Poile felt that in order to take the necessary strides to forwards towards a cup, they must first make a stride backwards. While the movement has panned out for the Preds who sit 5th in the west at 72 points on the season it has created some holes in their roster that needed filling. While most outside of the fan base think the Predators don’t need defence, those who have watched this year have seen that there was a glaring need for some experience and size on the backend beyond Suter and Weber. Gill bring both of those aspects in large quantities, being 6’7 and having won a cup he can help the young rookies on defence settle down and play to their strengths rather than playing in roles that they aren’t accustomed too. He also fills the role that O’Brien held last year which was being a key PK player as well as helping clear the net in front of Rinne while the top pair wasn’t on the ice. No offence to Ryan Ellis who has a times tried in his stay with the Preds to help Rinne, being 5’8 normally doesn’t bold well for him. With two key needs this year being a top six forward and a experienced bottom four defenseman, Poile has filled one of the glaring gaps that has been a problem for the Preds this season.
Though getting Gill was a good move for the Preds, it didn’t come at a small price. Giving up a 2nd as well as Geoffrion in the deal was a little hard to swallow for Preds fans at first, after looking closely it doesn’t seem that bad. Aside from the 2nd round pick which no one will know what will come of it for the next couple of years Geoffrion had some promise last year for the Preds but had fallen out of favour with the team lately.
Aside from the story of being a hometown boy and the heritage of his family, there hasn’t been much to be excited about in regards to the player. While he is a former Hobby Baker winner he hasn’t produced much in the past two years aside from a hat trick against buffalo. Going into this year he was playing on the 4th line in Nashville and managed 22 games and 3 assists, and was sent down to the AHL after Trotz had expected more.In the AHL he quickly became a 3rd liner and hand 9 points in 20 games but wasn’t playing like he had shown two years earlier. While his family is connected to Montreal in a big way, hopefully he the expectations of him don’t blow out of proportion as it seems he will be nothing more than a third liner at most. As for Slaney, well let’s just say that at least he proved to be somewhat valuable to the Preds in some way after this trade.
In the end, both teams got what they wanted and both seem happy with the trade. The Predators filled a needed hole without giving up any roster players and still has prospects and pick available to make another trade for a forward if one can be made. While the Canadians got a player with a link to the team and got something for a player that they might have lost for nothing.