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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Predators Acquire Hall Gill from Canadiens for Geoffrion, Slaney

The Nashville Predators have announced that they have acquired defenseman Hal Gill and a conditional fifth round pick in the 2013 Entry Draft from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for center Blake Geoffrion, left wing Robert Slaney, and Nashville's second round pick in the 2012 Entry Draft. The fifth round pick will go to the Predators if Geoffrion appears in at least 40 NHL games next season, which could be likely. Gill, who will be eligible for unrestricted free agency this summer, has one goal and seven assists for eight points and 29 penalty minutes in 53 games with the Canadiens. Geoffrion appeared in 22 games with the Predators, recording three assists. He also played in 20 games with Milwaukee of the AHL, scoring two goals and seven assists for nine points. Slaney appeared in nine games with Milwaukee, scoring one assist. He also played in 31 games with Cincinnati of the ECHL, scoring 11 goals and seven assists for 18 points. He has yet to appear in an NHL game. Geoffrion and Slaney will both be eligible for restricted free agency on July 1. Gill really solidifies Nashville's blueline with his huge frame, shutdown skills, gritty performance, and skill on the penalty kill. However, the cost to land him was pretty steep, especially for a player who could potentially depart via free agency this summer. However, his presence on the blueline will be extremely valuable as Nashville inches closer to the playoffs. The assets the Canadiens landed in the move will definitely help in their rebuilding efforts. Geoffrion, the grandson of Canadiens' hall-of-famer Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, is a hard worker on the ice with lots of versatility and upside who could see a full time spot on Montreal's roster next season. Slaney will likely remain in the minors for the remainder of the season. It still remains to be seen how he may fit into Montreal's future plans, so it will likely be known this summer if he receives a qualifying offer from the team or not.

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