Instant Analysis: Gill Signing

Thursday, 06.28.2012 / 5:03 PM / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators

Hal Gill’s two-year contract to return to the Preds provides a major piece to the framework of the team’s defensive corps for next season. With Gill back in the fold, the pairings for next season appear to have significantly more clarity. Shea Weber and Ryan Suter – GM David Poile has made it clear that while he anticipates a favorable decision from Suter, the Preds have other targets identified for top-pairing minutes if Suter exercises his option to play elsewhere – at the top of the depth chart. Roman Josi appears in line for second-pairing minutes, either matched with Kevin Klein or Gill; both combinations had significant success for key stretches last season and both combinations are likely to get looks over the course of the 2012-13 season. The other of Klein/Gill is likely to serve as a veteran mentor to one of Nashville’s young talented defensemen --- with Jon Blum, Ryan Ellis, and Mattias Ekholm the three most likely candidates to win NHL spots out of camp, but don’t discount Finnish free agent signee Joonas Jarvinen, a more physical defensive presence.

But having Klein and Gill as a veteran presence for the second and third pairings – plus stability on the penalty kill and in late-game pressure situations – gives the Preds a calming influence heading into 2012-13.

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 54 20 8 266 209 116
2 y - COL 82 52 22 8 250 220 112
3 x - STL 82 52 23 7 248 191 111
4 x - SJS 82 51 22 9 249 200 111
5 x - CHI 82 46 21 15 267 220 107
6 x - LAK 82 46 28 8 206 174 100
7 x - MIN 82 43 27 12 207 206 98
8 x - DAL 82 40 31 11 235 228 91
9 PHX 82 37 30 15 216 231 89
10 NSH 82 38 32 12 216 242 88
11 WPG 82 37 35 10 227 237 84
12 VAN 82 36 35 11 196 223 83
13 CGY 82 35 40 7 209 241 77
14 EDM 82 29 44 9 203 270 67

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
S. Weber 79 23 33 -2 56
P. Hornqvist 76 22 31 1 53
C. Smith 79 24 28 16 52
M. Fisher 75 20 29 -4 49
R. Josi 72 13 27 -2 40
M. Cullen 77 10 29 4 39
C. Wilson 81 11 22 -1 33
N. Spaling 71 13 19 2 32
R. Ellis 80 6 21 9 27
G. Bourque 74 9 17 -5 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Hutton 20 11 4 .910 2.62
D. Dubnyk 11 18 3 .891 3.43

 
 

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