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09-11-2013, 08:04 PM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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ESPN has an article today on Hal Gill:

PHILADELPHIA -- It's about 10:15 on Wednesday morning and Hal Gill is the only person on the Wells Fargo Center ice.

Around he goes in full gear, stretching here, working his knees back and forth there, stopping on a dime in another part of the ice.

The solitary nature of the workout is in some ways the perfect metaphor for where Gill and many other NHLers find themselves on the eve of training camp. The big defenseman is here for the Philadelphia Flyers' training camp, which starts on Thursday morning, but he does not have a contract, no safety net, no guarantees of anything other than a few days in Flyer orange.

After 1,102 regular-season NHL games and another 110 in the postseason, a couple of trips to the Stanley Cup finals and a Cup ring to show for his efforts, this is where Gill is at, working out the kinks alone on the ice and hoping against hope this isn't the end.

"It's tough. You know there's a lot of guys that are on the outside looking in. I guess the whole thing is I can't really control that," Gill told a small group of reporters after completing his physical. "I feel like the NHL's always changed the rules to try and get me out of the league and maybe they did that, just for me, they lowered the cap just for me. They've been trying for years, they've been trying everything."
Gill knows that. He's hoping that he can play well enough to get someone to take notice. If there's not a home for him in Philadelphia, then maybe somewhere else.

"I think that's the idea. I can't control what people are going to do but I can try and control what I do and be positive," Gill said. "Go out, work hard. Kind of make a statement for myself and of course try and get on this team. I think this is a good team and I'd love to be a part of it, but I understand the numbers, I understand the business side of it. If it's not on this team, then hopefully you open someone's eyes and play well and go somewhere else and get a job somewhere."

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has known Gill for years. The two were part of the U.S. Olympic team in 2006 in Torino, Italy, when Laviolette was the head coach and Gill part of the taxi squad of players named as injury replacements.

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