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Hal Gill to Nashville. Geoffrion, Slaney, and 2012 2nd to Montreal.
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02-17-2012, 07:27 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Having Gill on your team can be very frustrating to a fan. It does help if you know what his limitations are.
- He is dreadfully slow. His top speed is poor, but his real weakness is acceleration and change of direction. He will get beat to the puck in situations where you will think it was not possible. You will get scored on because of that. However, Gill understands this and uses careful positioning and his reach to compensate pretty effectively in most situations. He's fine when he can read the play and stay under it, but if a play develops quickly, like because of a missed pass or a weird bounce, he can easily get caught. As a side-effect of the careful positioning Gill will very rarely take opponents to the boards in a defensive play as this would take him out of position - a risk he's rightfully not willing to take.
- Gill is neither soft nor tough, he's physically neutral.
He is big and strong, but uses that only deny scoring areas for opposing players. He does this very effectively against other big and strong players who are looking to park themselves in front of the net, and struggles more against players who tend to move in and out of the front of the net. Gill doesn't shy away from contact, but he isn't a punishing player to play against like, say, Pronger is.
- Gill has almost no offensive game. This is mainly because he's not willing to take risks with his positioning. He doesn't have much of a shot, and in any case he rarely shoots. In breaking out from his own zone, he does make good clearings from tough spots and rarely misses a short pass, but he almost never makes a longer passes to a forward up the ice. If he has the puck between the red line and the offensive blue line he will always dump the puck in. The only good offensive attribute he has is that he doesn't seem to hand-cuff his defensive partner or the forward line. I don't know quite why that is, might be just the high percentage game he plays limits opponent's possessions, although I tend to think that Gill's game is easy to understand to his team mates, which makes it easier for young offensive players to play with him.
- Gill may be the best penalty killer of all the skaters in the league. He does do this a bit silly looking thing where drops to the ice to block shots and passing lanes, but it seems to be pretty effective.
- Gill graps and holds because he has to, which will lead to penalties. Those penalties tend to go down in the play-off and Gill's effectiveness goes up a bit as a result.
Overall, Gill is a PK specialist first. In 5-on-5 he should be sheltered, as he will get scored on when forced to move. Gill has played main shutdown pair roles previously, but that's probably past him today, unless he matches really well against someone specific (I'm thinking Holmström and Franzen here).
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