Jun 26, 2012, 4:15 PM EDT
All week leading up to Sunday, July 1, we’ll be profiling unrestricted free agents and speculating where they might end up.
Hal Gill (D)
2011-12 cap hit: $2.25 million
Acquiring Gill was part of Nashville’s “all in” approach at the trade deadline and, for the most part, those moves blew up in GM David Poile’s face. Gill wasn’t an exception — acquired to play in the postseason, he was only healthy enough for five playoff games — but circumstances might open the door for his return.
The Predators are going to bleed free agents this summer, and Ryan Suter‘s potential departure would require the heaviest stitching. Suter’s absence could help justify bringing Gill back, especially since Poile is on record of saying he wants size on the blueline.
That said, nostalgia might guide his course. Gill told Dave Stubbs that he still loves Montreal and it’s reasonable to assume Montreal might be interested in bringing him back for a second run.
If those two destinations don’t work out, Gill makes plenty of sense as a depth defenseman on a contender. While he can be exposed as a pylon at times, his value jumps in the playoffs. Much like in basketball, hockey’s pace slows down to the puck equivalent to “half-court offense” far more often, which suits Gill’s rugged, shot-blocking style.
More UFA spotlights
- Flyers overcome two-goal deficit to finally win at MSG 24
- NHL suspends Seabrook three games for charging into Backes 39
- MacKinnon, Avs shine against Wild, take 2-0 series lead 22
- Video: Roenick says MacKinnon is more dominant at 18 than Crosby was 23
- Blue Jackets gain first-ever playoff win, tie series with Penguins 1-1 47
- Video: Seabrook ejected for charging Backes; will face hearing (update) 135
- WATCH LIVE: Columbus Blue Jackets at Pittsburgh Penguins (Game 2) 4
- Blues come back to stun Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime, take 2-0 series lead 40
- WATCH LIVE: Chicago Blackhawks at St. Louis Blues (Game 2) 4
- Flyers’ Mason out of Game 2, Emery to start again 51