In this Nov. 5

In this Nov. 5

Montreal Canadiens acquire Geoffrion’s grandson from Nashville Predators

The Montreal Canadiens made it official Friday they will be sellers leading up to the NHL trade deadline, dealing veteran defenceman Hal Gill to the Nashville Predators for a draft pick and a piece of their history.

MONTREAL, Que. — The Montreal Canadiens made it official Friday they will be sellers leading up to the NHL trade deadline, dealing veteran defenceman Hal Gill to the Nashville Predators for a draft pick and a piece of their history.

Montreal sent Gill and a conditional 2013 fifth-round draft pick to Nashville for a 2012 second-round pick, prospect Robert Slaney and Blake Geoffrion, the 24-year-old grandson of Hall of Famer Bernard (Boom Boom) Geoffrion.

The Canadiens’ chances of making the playoffs are minimal. Now that they’ve made a deal, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they move other veterans before the Feb. 27 deadline, including winger Travis Moen and perhaps forward Andrei Kostitsyn or defenceman Chris Campoli.

Geoffrion’s bloodlines are more impressive than his NHL resume, which includes six goals and five assists in 42 games over two seasons. His great-grandfather was Canadiens legend Howie Morenz, while his father Dan Geoffrion also played in the NHL.

The surprise was that the Predators’ traded him. Geoffrion was born in Florida, but grew up in Nashville.

”Wow..what a day…it’s bitter-sweet, going to miss my hometown of Nashville, but going to where it all started with my family…MONTREAL!!!” he wrote on Twitter.

Predators general manager David Poile said he was ”very torn” about dealing Geoffrion.

”If it wasn’t for Montreal, the unique situation with his family, the history, all that stuff, I probably wouldn’t have traded him,” Poile said on a conference call. ”It’s extremely tough to do because of his obvious ties to Nashville.

“It was fabulous to have a local player here in Nashville.”

Geoffrion, whose great-grandfather and grandfather have banners hanging at the Bell Centre in honour of having their numbers retired, won the Hobey Baker award as the top player in U.S. college hockey in 2010 with Wisconsin.

The six-foot-one, 190-pound forward was drafted 56th overall by Nashville in 2006.

He has split the past two seasons between AHL Milwaukee and Nashville. He had only three assists in 22 NHL games this season before being returned to the AHL.

Poile said Geoffrion struggled on a team loaded with first- and second-year players in Nashville and was still a strong NHL prospect.

The six-foot-two, 205-pound Slaney, a 23-year-old left winger, has 11 goals and seven assists in 30 games with Cincinnati of the ECHL.

Montreal got good value by acquiring a second-round pick for 36-year-old Gill, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

”You have to give up a lot to get (Gill) and we did,” said Poile.

Gill was to join the Predators in Detroit, where they were to face the Red Wings on Friday night.

The six-foot-seven Gill is a strong stay-at-home defenceman who is particularly effective in penalty killing, an area in which the Predators need help. Nashville is 15th overall and 25th on home ice while shorthanded in the 30-team league.

”We needed a veteran defenceman with experience and size,” said Poile. ”I think that in Hal Gill, we get everything we were looking for.”

The deal suggests Nashville will not trade either of top defencemen Ryan Suter or Shea Weber, who will be free agents this summer, but in fact will add pieces to try to make a long playoff run. Poile said it is up to coach Barry Trotz how Gill will be used but doesn’t expect the Suter-Weber tandem to be broken up.

Gill signed with the Canadiens as a free agent in 2009 after helping the Pittsburgh Penguins win a Stanley Cup.

The defenceman, who is as popular with his teammates as he is with fans, makes up for his lack of skating speed using his size to keep opponents to the outside. He is also an expert shot-blocker.

Gill played a key role in Montreal’s run to the Eastern Conference final in his first season with the team in 2009-10.

”His leadership and commitment were much appreciated,” Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier said in a statement.

ESPN reported the condition on the Montreal fifth-round pick was that Nashville will receive it only if Geoffrion plays at least 40 NHL games next season.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, said growing COVID-19 case numbers continue to be a concern in the province. (Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta announces 1,077 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

There are currently 14,052 active cases in the province

Head coach Jason Chatwood, left, sports one of the Sylvan Lake Gulls’ first on-field hats next to Aqil Samuel, general manager and president of baseball operations, earlier this year.
Sylvan Lake Gulls ticket sales off to flying start

With the inaugural season quickly closing in, the Sylvan Lake Gulls hit… Continue reading

Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Alberta’s chief medical health officer publicly criticizes staffer who leaked info

EDMONTON — Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, dealing with rocketing COVID-19… Continue reading

The RCMP major crimes unit is investigating after a person was found dead at a residence on Stewart Street in Red Deer’s Sunnybrook neighbourhood Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
Red Deer RCMP investigating suspicious death in Sunnybrook

A ‘deceased adult’ was found by officers

A detail from Canyon Light, an oil painting by Joan Clement, in the Scale exhibit by members of the Red Deer Art Club. It’s showing at the Viewpoint Gallery in the city’s Culture Services Centre. (Contributed image).
Outdoor art gallery and scavenger hunt is on in Red Deer next month

But First Friday receptions and patio concerts are postponed

Players at Canada’s World Junior selection camp in Red Deer last hit the ice Sunday in an intrasquad game. On Tuesday, it was announced that two players had tested positive for COVID-19 and the entire camp has since gone into isolation. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Hockey Canada Images)
Canada’s world junior camp to remain on pause for 14 days

Camp halted after two players contracted COVID-19

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw leaves after updating media on the Covid-19 situation in Edmonton, Friday, March 20, 2020. Legal experts say there's a fine line between a public health officer's duty to the people they serve and their duty to the politicians who appoint them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Public health officers walk fine line between public and politicians, scholars say

Public health officers walk fine line between public and politicians, scholars say

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

A man wearing a protective mask rides his bicycle past a masked mural during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. Canada's two biggest province have each reported more than 1,400 new COVID-19 infections as Ottawa pledged funds to help Nunavut deal with its soaring caseload. Ontario, which is expected to unveil new projections this afternoon, recorded 1,478 new cases today and 21 more deaths. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19 vaccines to roll out for priority groups in early 2021; Atlantic bubble pops

COVID-19 vaccines to roll out for priority groups in early 2021; Atlantic bubble pops

Trump says he’ll leave if Electoral College seats Biden

Trump says he’ll leave if Electoral College seats Biden

This image released by ABC shows Ryan Phillippe in a scene from "Big Sky." premiering on Tuesday. Several Indigenous groups are lambasting ABC's "Big Sky" for a storyline about murdered women in Montana that fails to mention the crisis disproportionately involves Indigenous victims. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-HO, ABC-Sergei Bachlakov, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Indigenous groups criticize ABC series ‘Big Sky’ for insensitivity to MMIWG

Indigenous groups criticize ABC series ‘Big Sky’ for insensitivity to MMIWG

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Kara McKlemurry poses for a photo while writing Thanksgiving notes to family and friends at her home Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, in Clearwater, Fla. On any normal Thanksgiving Day, McKlemurry and her husband would drive from their home to one of two places: his family's home in another part of Florida or her family's house in Alabama. This year, McKlemurry informed her family there would be no visits because of the pandemic. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Empty seats, delivered feasts as virus changes Thanksgiving

Empty seats, delivered feasts as virus changes Thanksgiving

Most Read