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#75 Hal Gill



“There were a lot of factors that played into my decision. I had to think about my family and my career. I really like my role on this team and obviously the city itself too. In the end, these are all positives that helped me make my choice. This is a competitive market that plays to win every night and I love being a part of that.” - Hal Gill - canadiens.com June 1, 2011

From the 2010-2011 thread:

"Every shift you have something to prove, especially in the playoffs playing against your old team. It'll be fun. It's a huge challenge for our team. We have a lot to prove." - The Hockey News, April 29 2010

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Gill I left you to the last

We know you never will be skating fast

As many as possible you will block

Give and take many a knock

A leader you will always be

When you shoot it's a sight to see

I think here you will for a long time stay

Not as a player for I think you may

Join the staff as a sort of coach

Perhaps one that TB can't poach

Please make this season your very best

You have already passed the test

GO GILL GO :lol: :lol:

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Eric Engles' "Habs Rumors, and Key leaders." Although it probably should be called "Hal Gill & Josh Gorges.... and those other guys.."

1) Conveniently, rumors are flying that Scott Gomez and Jaroslav Spacek will be traded at some point.

In other news, they really are making their very best efforts to fix the streets of Montreal, the bridges--Mercier and Champlain, and the backlog of mail is all coming to your box today.

2) No one should be worried about Josh Gorges signing a new contract. It's imminent. And the figures won't be a far stretch from what everyone has estimated. He'll be playing for the Canadiens for the next 4-6 seasons, and he'll be making between 2.8-3.5 mil/season.

The question is, how will he play this year? Returning from injury isn't something Gorges has had to do on many occasions in his career, but more troublesome is the fact--dare I say--that he didn't play altogether well last season.

Sufficed to say, the ten-year injury he was sporting certainly had an influence on his play, and some other issues with that same knee had him really struggling before the Canadiens pulled the plug.

But none of that will dull the Canadiens' expectations, and once he signs, the fans will expect to see the Gorges of the '09-10 playoff Habs. Here's hoping he can be that guy early on in the season.

3) When you think about it, Hal Gill could've walked away from the one-year deal the Canadiens offered him in the final week of May. He might have, had he only received the offer a week from unrestricted free agency, like Roman Hamrlik did.

The difference between the two: both of them really wanted to stay in Montreal, but one of them fits so well on the team he couldn't refuse the one-year deal, even if it was in his best interest to push for two.

I think Hal Gill believes he could win here, and it could happen as early as this season. That's a guy you want on your team.

4) Gill's play with the Canadiens has been great. I thought his breed would be extinct after the lockout, but his season and a half with Pittsburgh and the two in Montreal could be considered the best of his career.

Gill is also the perfect example of why +/- is a completely overblown statistic. In his two seasons with the Canadiens, he's a combined -19. In both their playoff runs, he was a combined -4.

But ask his competition how easy it was to play against him...

5) Even as someone who is granted access to the room, it's hard to fathom how tough the emotional peaks and valleys of a season are. It's such a grind.

It's one thing for these guys to hit the road for six games straight, but it's rarely taken into account that they have lives outside of hockey.

Any person who leaves town for two weeks has things to catch up on when they get home. That can be a lot to handle, especially when you're never expected to lose at home--especially in Montreal.

So, picture a two-week road trip in December that has your team go 0-6 or 1-5. How much longer does that make your year?

6) That's why it's so important for the Canadiens to have players like Hal Gill. As all the players have acknowledged, he does as much for the team off the ice as he does on it.

This much is very clear from my vantage point; my brief and daily interaction with the players.

It's probably clear from yours too...

7) Coming back to Gorges, he too shares some of the intangibles that describe Gill. But the biggest reason Gorges will receive his pay-day: he's fearless, and he'll do anything for a teammate.

And that's not something you would say about him 99% of the time. With Gorges, it's 100%.

8) How much does a healthy year mean to Andrei Markov and the Canadiens? I'd say everything.

I think it's the difference between 6, 7, 8 and home-ice advantage.

I think it's the difference between an active trade deadline day and a passive one for the Habs.

I think it's the difference between a top-10 powerplay and the best powerplay.

Markov, Gorges, Gill and Subban. Pretty exceptional foursome in the East. They may not be the toughest, or the strongest, but they are so well-balanced it's hard to find a top-four that rival them.

9) Looking at the East, there are a couple of foursomes to be feared.

Buffalo: Myers, Leopold, Erhoff, Regehr (most improved).

Boston: Chara, Seidenberg, Boychuk and Corvo (not the most balanced, but they certainly have the nastiness department covered. And Corvo will fit much better than Kaberle did.)

Philly: Pronger, Timmonen, Coburn, Carle (deep, skilled, but not the fastest).

Pittsburgh: Martin, Letang, Michalek, Orpik (easily the most underrated--not just in the East, but perhaps in the league).

Under the radar, Washington: Green, Wideman (edit, forgot about big John Carlson--silly, I know), Schultz, Hamrlik. Don't forget, the Caps finished fourth in GAA, league-wide last season.

10) Habs still have work to do. Penalty kill won't get better with the departures of Halpern, Pyatt and Hamrlik.

One way to bridge the gap: take less penalties.

On average, the Habs had to kill 13.4 penalty minutes/game. That was the tenth highest average in the league last season.

In '09-10, the Habs were the eighth best team in average penalty minutes/game. They came in at 11.4.

Bigger problem last season: They took 363 minor penalties-- only second to Pittsburgh's 374.

P.K. Subban's minor penalty tally on the year: league-leading 42.

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In regards to Eric Engels - I could respect a journalist's piece if he actually conveyed points using facts.

3. Hamrlik's offer came within a few days of free agency - not a week. And Gill admittedly implied term was a problem but he had more nights to sleep on it. Hamrlik had to make a decision quickly while Gauthier played on his feelings towards Montreal. And Hamrlik fit on the team too. We'll never know the answer to the question - "what if the roles had been reversed - Hamrlik gets first offer and Gill doesn't?" Gauthier for once in the last few years had a chance to put THREE bonafide top 4 (Markov, Subban, Hamrlik) d-men on the roster and to date he's failed.

4. Gill's + / - is quite indicative of his play at even strength. Josh Gorges has played a fair amount of time with Gill but has always managed to have a better + / -. PK Subban's best + / - came while playing with less experience in the playoffs no less with Roman Hamrlik. I do think + / - can be misleading and I like to use it more in relation to the rest of the team. Two years ago even Marc Andre Bergeron had a better + / - than Gill while being forced to play over his head. The only player Hal Gill beat in the + / - column this past year was Scott Gomez. And seriously am I the only one that saw Hal Gill's weak plays on two of Boston goals in game 7?

6. Who are all of these players? No - it isn't clear from my vantage point. I haven't heard 21/23 of the team comment on how Hal Gill's role with the team. I've heard the Josh Gorges promotion of Hal Gill. Just what is it he does? Take the team out for ice cream when they win? He's probably a nice enough guy but geez......LOL

UGGHHH.......the Habs can't have three top 4 d-men no matter what. Must settle for an injury ridden, inexperienced, buncha a 5 / 6 / 7 d-men. Can't wait to see who is signed for depth.

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Hal Gill will play his 1000 game this year (if all goes well) on October 20th, against the team he won a cup with in Pittsburg.

Huge accomplishment for him. Looking forward to this year.

That is great, are we at home that night,I hope they say something about it,he has done well,most of the other big D men didn't make the transition after the lock out,good on you Gill

GO GILL GO :lol: :lol:

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  • 2 weeks later...

I am not sorry to see our gentle giant here

We all know we hold him dear

I hope again he shoots a bit more

I like it when Hall Gill ups the score

I think this season might be his last

But his time here will not be past

I like what he brings to our team

He's a bit special you know what I mean

GO GILL GO :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

and he is hot for an old guy

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  • 4 weeks later...

Gill on target for milestone

halgillovie-285x280.jpg.....:lol: this pic.

If he avoids a training camp injury and makes it to the sixth game of the regular season, Hal Gill will play the 1000th game of his NHL career on Oct. 20 in Pittsburgh.

Go Gill.

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Gill on target for milestone

halgillovie-285x280.jpg.....:lol: this pic.

If he avoids a training camp injury and makes it to the sixth game of the regular season, Hal Gill will play the 1000th game of his NHL career on Oct. 20 in Pittsburgh.

Go Gill.

Its comforting to have that that cup winning presence on the back end for sure especially with the younger guys like Subban, Gorges, Weber, Yemelin. With Markov and Spacek there is enough experience to go around on the back end however we all have a tough time labeling Gill as anything more then a very reliable 5th 6th d-man which is troubling considering he may have to log more minutes and step outside of that role this season potentially wearing the old warrior out come playoff time ( examples : Hamirlik , Spacek).

Nevertheless , congrats to the friendly giant on the almost at 1000 games milestone. :lol: Nice display picture FH10, who is the guitar player?

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Dear Hal Gill

When montreal first signed you I was so disappointed. I did not want someone as slow as you on my team. I assumed the only reason you were signed was because the penguins won the cup and you were on that team. After watching you perform I realized that, yes you are very slow but you are also a force that can't be ignored. It takes players with different styles of play to challenge for the cup. I don't want a team made with a cookie cutter. Some people were very made that you were resigned instead of hammerlik. Keeping hammerlik would be fine but not at the cost of losing you. Without you the habs would truly be smurfs. Thank you papa smurf and keep up the good work this season hal.

yours truly,


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

We all known that Gill is really slow. Gill knows this also. I think that Gill we be fine when the season starts. Especially if he is not expected to play minutes that Subban, Markov, and Gorges will likely see every game. Gap control is critical for slow players. Gill will get beat this season. But Price will make the save and his defensive partner will stop the pass so Price can focus on the save. Which given how good Price played last season is very likely to be save and not a goal. It is always easier to see fault when the puck is in our net or the player is in the penalty box.

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