Friday, February 17, 2012

TRADE DETAILS: Hal Gill Traded to the Nashville Predators

The Montreal Canadiens traded defenceman Hal Gill and a conditional 5th round pick in 2013 to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney and second round draft pick in 2012.

Click here to read the official Habs press release.

Wow, what a haul by Pierre Gauthier!

Let's break down the trade a little.

Blake Geoffrion is, first off, the grandson of Habs legends, Boom-Boom Geoffrion. Ya, not too much pressure there for the kid!

But more than that, he was a second round pick and is a solid prospect. Here is the player page on Geoffrion:

According to the Hockey's Future website...

"Geoffrion is an excellent two-way forward that combines of size, power and energy. He thrives on the physical side of the game and can often be found delivering some very solid checks. Geoffrion is an outstanding skater with good agility, and power in his strides. He possesses very good hockey sense and on-ice vision. He utilizes his 6’2 frame quite effectively, particularly along the boards and in one-on-one situations. He is sound defensively as well. He’ll drive to the net hard and shown a willingness to go into the difficult areas to make the play. Geoffrion possesses a very hard shot and can get pucks to the net. While Geoffrion possesses good puck skills, he could stand to shoot the puck more often."

And so the Habs trend of getting bigger and stronger continues. Nice.

The other piece in the deal is Robert Slaney. Here is his profile:

According to the Hockey's Future website...

"A character forward with good size, Slaney displays strong puck possession skills. His big body is able to shield the puck efficiently and open up space for teammates. He leads by example with a strong work ethic and is a team player."

Slaney is clearly a depth player/fringe NHLer at best. But, like Geoffrion, he has size.

In addition to these two prospects, the Habs grab themselves a 2nd round pick in the 2012 draft.


Wow, seriously, wow.

That is a hell of a price to pay for an aging, soon-to-be free agent defenseman. But hey, I guess this means the Preds plan on making a run at it in the playoffs. That probably also means they have other moves in store, but who knows.

As for Montreal GM, Pierre Gauthier, this seems to be the first deal where he maximized his asset. And man did he ever maximize it!

He got a 2nd round drafted, solid prospect, a depth player with size, and a 2nd round pick in this summer's draft.

Per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the conditional fifth rounder going back to Nashville is if Geoffrion plays 40 or more games in Montreal next year. If he doesn't play in that many games, no pick for Nashville.

This is an excellent deal for the Habs on every level. They get younger, bigger, more cap space and maximize an expiring asset.

I ran the trade of Hal Gill for Blake Geoffrion, straight up, using the PowerScout Hockey TradeMaker (above), for your information.

The final note on this trade is that, if there was any doubt, this signals in no uncertain terms that the Canadiens will be sellers at the deadline. So watch out, because I expect a flurry of other moves from Gauthier between now and the deadline.

So who's next to go? Travis Moen? Andrei Kostitsyn?

What's your take?

Kamal is a freelance writer, Senior Writer/Editor-in-Chief of, Montreal Canadiens Blogger on and featured columnist on Kamal is also a weekly contributor to the Sunday Shinny segment of The Franchise weekend morning show, on TSN Radio 990 (AM 990) every Sunday from 9 - 10 AM. Listen live at

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Most people would have been happy with just a 2nd round pick but what Gauthier did was get a second rounder from a team who'll likely not get out of the first round meaning it will be higher than what most could offer.

To add Slaney and Geoffrion are just positives.

neither of these guys are going to be elite players but Geoffrion can easily fill in on that 3rd line alongside Eller and Leblanc and Slaney will help out Hamilton.

IMO it exceeds expectations.

@Brya: Agree 100%. And this is why it is great to be a seller at the deadline...GMs WAY overpay for everything. Buying at the deadline is really something for teams who want to or can make a legit run, imo.

Back to the trade, this is excellent for the Canadiens and bodes very well for the returns they could get for Moen and/or Kostitsyn if they go that route.

Hold on to your hats, this is about to get interesting!

I'm pleased to have posted that Gill piece this A.M. Any later and it would have been for naught!

Also pleased to have more or less accurate in predicting the type of return

(Look, i'm wrong enough in a year, I can toot my own damn horn if I want!)

Could Montreal potentially have 6 or 7 second round picks over the next 2 years? We now have 4 when we add the Cammalleri and Gill deals.

Add another for Moen, another for Kostitsyn, potentially another for Weber......

What I love most about this is that we truly haven't touched our core group and have amassed all of these assets.

let's suppose next season we find ourselves back in a playoff hunt.....well we have all of these acquired assets and prospects to work with still not ouch the core.

This is great man.

One question.....look at this return for think of Gauthier calling up Housen for Nash.

Also worth noting: The last four pieces on HA have Gill in the title.

I hereby decree this Hal Gill day ;)

@Louis: Ya, seriously good timing! And yes, you were spot on my friend...nice analysis! And hey, having Hal Gill in the titles is going to do A LOT for Google searches!

@Bryan: Yep, it's excellent to see the Habs restocking the cupboards after years of sheding 2nd rounders. This is exactly what I have been talking about when I said they need to "retool" not rebuild.

The core is solid, get rid of anything that isn't core and can bring value. Continue developing the young guns, and draft, draft, draft.

@Bryan / KP

Restocking the cupboards, indeed. Along with Slaney, next year will see Holland, Gallagher, Tinordi, Kristo (if signed) and Beaulieu joining the ranks.

Much needed relief for the farm!

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