When the Nashville Predators acquired long-time NHL defenseman Hal Gill in February 2012, they did so almost as a luxury item for what they hoped would be a length Stanley Cup Playoff run. General manager David Poile and coach Barry Trotz expected the 6-foot-7 Gill would take some “hard minutes” off of their pair of All-Star defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter by killing penalties, Gill’s specialty. Jump ahead almost 17 months later and add in the factors that have intervened since Nashville traded for him and it appears that Gill is no longer a luxury that the Predators can afford. The Predators placed Gill on waivers on Tuesday. If the 38-year-old and his $2-million salary go unclaimed, the Predators will have some decisions to make. With free agency set to start on Friday, Gill’s situation adds to the moves the Preds might have to make in the coming the days. Speaking to the media on Tuesday evening, Poile said he has no idea what to expect as to whether another team will claim Gill. The overriding factor that led the organization to the decision came when defenseman Seth Jones, the top-rated player in the NHL Draft, fell to them at No. 4. With the Predators’ having already made the decision to slate three young defensemen on the roster -- Victor Bartley, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis -- the pick of Jones forced their hand. Poile said “in all likelihood” Jones will be on the team next season, an unforeseen circumstance prior to Sunday. With Weber, Roman Josi and Kevin Klein already on the roster, Gill became the eighth man out, so to speak. Through his Twitter account, Gill often pokes fun of himself, at times posting photos of a stationary cone or referring to himself as a pylon, all of which served to make light of his lack of mobility.
Preds clearing space on defense, place Gill on waivers,
Fox Sports Tennessee | Jul 7