Paul Gaustad and Hal Gill may have only been with the Predators since the Trade Deadline (February), but both newcomers have become quite fond of the Music City; and the fans have become quite fond of them as well.
Hal Gill was acquired on February 17th from the Montreal Canadiens for Blake Geoffrion, Robert Slaney, and a 2nd round draft pick. With Gill’s extraordinary penalty kill abilities and his experience holding up the Stanley Cup, Nashville knew Gill would be a key player to have during the playoffs. Gill immediately fell into line with team, finding a connection with fellow defenseman, Roman Josi. It’s honestly hard to remember that Hal has only been with the Predators since February.
Paul Gaustad was the last acquired player at the TD, being picked up from the Buffalo Sabres for a first round pick in the draft. A blind-sided trade, most fans (on both Buffalo and Nashville) did not see this trade coming, but due to his inquisitive skill at face-offs, Paul Gaustad was another key component to Nashville’s playoff run. Like Gill, Gaustad slipped in with the team and had no trouble making a name for himself in the southern franchise.
Both experts in their given skills, Paul Gaustad and Hal Gill helped propel the Nashville Predators throughout the end of the regular season and the playoffs, gaining fans along the way. However, now that the off-season is in full swing for Nashville, what will happen to the two newcomers?
Keeping these two assets (who would definitely help in the regular season) comes down to one thing: Money. Of course it comes down to money. The Predators are facing one of the toughest off-seasons ever in their franchise, with many of their key players facing both restricted and unrestricted free agency, including Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, Jordin Tootoo, and Sergei Kostitsyn. As such, a lack of a “proper” paycheck may send many players packing, including Hal Gill and Paul Gaustad… or would it?
Per a few sources, Paul Gaustad has made mention that, if in case the Predators were willing to sign him, he’d be willing to take a pay cut. Sources have also claimed the same has been said of 37-year-old defenseman, Hal Gill. The Predators organization has been considered on of the greatest in the NHL, but would players seriously be willing to take pay cuts to stay?
Although Sergei Kostitsyn is wanting to be signed to a longer contract in Nashville, it’s probable that if David Poile offers him yet another one-year contract, SK74 will take it, especially if his brother, Andrei Kostitsyn, is signed as well.
With players who haven’t been in Nashville as long as other veterans, it’s astonishing that they’d be willing to forego a larger paycheck just to stay with a particular organization. Either those players have a strong faith in Nashville and wish to see a Stanley Cup come to this city, or they just really, really love their sport… we’re going to say both.
Makes you wonder why Suter and Weber don’t want to just go ahead and sign… That’s a subject for another post.
So, for all you Paul Gaustad and Hal Gill fans, good news! These two have made it quite apparent that they have found a soft spot for Nashville and its fans in such a short amount of time, wether they’re willing to take a pay cut or not.
No matter what, you have to admit, this looks very, very good for Nashville and its franchise. Players are willing to make the roster no matter what it takes. Obviously, Poile, Trotz, and the rest of the organization is doing something right in the NHL.