At first glance, the Hockey Inside/Out Trade Desk thinks this is a good deal for the Canadiens.
Everyone knew Hal Gill – an experienced defenceman and penalty-kill specialist – was on the block and likely to be of interest for teams positioned to make a serious run at the Stanley Cup.
But what could fans reasonably expect to get in return?
Maybe a third-round draft pick?
Pierre Gauthier has landed a second-rounder to add to his inventory this June – plus two players … one of whom is the grandson of Boom-Boom Geoffrion and the great-grandson of Howie Morenz.
From Geoffrion’s Twitter account: 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!!!
From Robert Slaney: My twitter followers are just skyrocketing! I love Montreal already!
The team announcement:
MONTREAL (February 17, 2012) – Montreal Canadiens general manager, Pierre Gauthier, announced today the acquisition of forwards Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slaney, as well as a second round draft pick in 2012 from the Nashville Predators, in return for defenseman Hal Gill and a conditional fifth round draft pick in 2013.
The 24-year old Geoffrion played 22 games with the Predators this season. He registered three assists, 29 hits and 17 penalty minutes, playing an average of 10 minutes and 20 seconds per game. In his second year in professional hockey this season, he also played with the AHL Milwaukee Admirals recording nine points, including two goals, in 20 games.
The 6’01’’, 190 lbs left winger has collected 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in 42 regular season games in the NHL. Geoffrion displays a career +1 plus/minus differential. He added two assists in 12 playoff games in 2010-11, along with a +1 plus/minus ratio.
A native of Plantation, Florida, Geoffrion was drafted in the second round, 56th overall by the Predators at the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. He was awarded the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, as the Top U.S. Collegiate Player in 2010.
Slaney, 23, notched one assist in nine games with the AHL’s Milwaukee Admirals, and 18 points (11 goals, 7 assists) in 30 games with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones this season.
A product of the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles the 6’02’’, 203 lbs left winger registered eight assists in 52 career games in the AHL. Slaney added 53 points (19 goals, 34 assists) in 113 career games in the ECHL.
The Upper Cove Island, Newfoundland native Slaney signed as a free agent with the Toronto Maple Leafs on April 14, 2009. He was acquired from Toronto by the Predators on July 3, 2011.
“First and foremost, I would like to thank Hal Gill for his contribution to our team over the last three seasons. His leadership and commitment were much appreciated. I wish him the best of luck with his new team. We are also very pleased to have acquired a second round draft selection in 2012 and two young prospects for our organisation. We look forward to working together with Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slaney to continue their progression,” said Canadiens’ general manager Pierre Gauthier.
Hal Gill played 53 games this season with the Canadiens registering eight points (1 goal, 7 assists). He recorded 48 hits and 122 blocked shots, playing an average of 16 minutes and 44 seconds per game.
Since joining the NHL, Gill has recorded 179 points (36 goals and 143 helpers) and maintained a +43 plus/minus ratio in 1,047 NHL regular season games.