The Montreal Canadiens will have a big hole on defense tonight in First Niagara Center as they have just traded 6-foot-7 Hal Gill and a conditional fifth round draft pick in 2013 to the Nashville Predators for Blake Geoffrion and Robert Slaney, as well as a second round draft pick in 2012.
Gill had played 53 games, averaging nearly 17 minutes. He had one goal, seven assists and a minus-7 rating. Geoffrion, 24, had no goals in 22 games for Nashville this season. He had six goals for Nashville last year -- including a hat trick March 20 in Buffalo, the game the Predators rallied from a 3-1 deficit with two goals by Geoffrion in the final three minutes and won in overtime, 4-3. Slaney has been in the minor leagues.
Geoffrion is the grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, and the great-grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Howie Morenz, both of whom were longtime Canadiens stars. He also was the first player raised in Tennessee to play for the Predators when he made his NHL debut last season.
So far, compensation for trades has been steep so that might bode well for the Sabres if they kick it into sell mode. Nashville gave up plenty for Gill, who will be a UFA. San Jose gave up a second-round pick to Tampa Bay Thursday night for ex-Sabre Dominic Moore (a second-rounder for Dominic Moore??!!), and Philadelphia gave up a second- and third-rounder to Dallas for defenseman Nicklas Grossman.