Friday, June 29, 2012
What does the Hal Gill signing really mean for Smashville?
The Nashville Predators announced a key signing on Thursday ahead of the July 1 fiasco that will go a long way toward adding stability to the teams defensive corps for next two years.
Signing Hal Gill to a two-deal deal at $2 million a year is just what the doctor ordered to stabilize a young group of blue-liners that will soon be transitioning from the known quantity of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter to whatever combination it becomes in the next few days, weeks, or years.
I am assuming that Ryan Suter will be grazing on greener ice in Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minnesota or one of 26 other NHL teams that are willing to offer stupid money for a D-Man with a fair market value of seven million dollars in a reasonable economy that he has not accepted from David Poile.
I, personally, am also wondering what Shea Weber is thinking when he lost the Norris Trophy to a clearly inferior candidate in Erik Karlsson that Adrian Dater claimed caused the biggest gasp in the room with the media when it was announced (truth be known, Amanda DiPaolo made a loud noise and this writer leaked an expletive, sitting beside Dater).
Was Karlsson's theft of a Norris enough to drive Weber away from the friendly confines of Smashville's Bridgestone Arena in favor of a more traditional market when he becomes a free agent next year or does it lead him to a double-down (as in the Saloon) situation to prove the pundits wrong and gut it out in Music City. That is a serious question that only he can answer.
The day before the award was handed out, Weber was clearly Mr. Smashville and said all the right things. Then, after the awards show he was the only Preds nominee not to face the media, so we don't know his thoughts, but I would assume (I'll make asses of you me and everyone else) that he was not pleased with the result and it could eventually lead to a relocation.
Therefore, at this point, Hal Gill is the only D-man other than Ryan Ellis signed on in to the 2013-14 season and is ready and committed to stand in front of Pekka Rinne in the Predators pursuit of the 2014 Stanley Cup and that should make him a hero among the Predator faithful.
Gill is a winner, and even at his age of 37, he is a player that Preds fans can rally around to lead the team forward. He is a leader on the ice, in the clubhouse, and he never fails to stand up for the team in the post game scrum.
When no one else is willing to lay the cards on the table, Hal Gill steps up and is all in. Congrats to the Predators, The fans, and Hal Gill on the new contract. Make the jump for the details...
NASHVILLE PREDATORS SIGN HAL GILL TO A TWO-YEAR CONTRACT
Nashville, Tenn. (June 29, 2012) – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed defenseman Hal Gill to a two-year, $4 million contract.
Gill, 37 (4/6/75), was acquired by the Predators from Montreal on Feb. 17, 2012, and suited up for 23 regular-season games (0g-5a) and five playoff games (0g-0a) for the club. One of the League’s biggest players at 6-7, 240 pounds, Gill has played 1,070 regular-season games (36g-148a-184pts, 948 PIMs) and 110 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, and his 74 postseason games the past five seasons are the third most in the League.
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 a pair of two-season stints in Toronto and (2006-08) Pittsburgh (2007-09). Gill played 196 games with the Canadiens from 2009-12 before being acquired by Nashville.
Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass