Tuesday, General Manager David Poile held a press conference with the media discussing the past weekend's draft and this weekend's free agent market.
Since surprisingly adding Seth Jones on draft day, the Nashville Predators have had to change their game-plan for the remainder of the offseason in a hurry. With the 18-year old defenseman entering the fold this upcoming season, the Predators no longer have the need for 2007 first round draft pick Jonathon Blum and veteran defenseman Hal Gill.
According to Poile, Gill told him that he wanted more playing time, but adding Jones made that impossible. Gill is currently on waivers, meaning he can be picked up by any team in the league. If he clears waivers, he will still be on the team leaving the Predators the opportunity to either buy-out the final year of his contract worth $2 million dollars, allowing him to become a free agent, or trading him.
Either way, Gill will no longer be a Predator next season.
This is sad to see, since Gill was such a specialist handling opponents' big guys in front of the net and blocking shots. But due to his age, Gill is more injury prone and can no longer play 70+ games in a season.
Last season, GIll played in 32 games going pointless and had a -2 rating.
Poile also announced that Blum and forward Matt Halischuk will not receive qualifying offer sheets. The main goal will be to trade them for anything. If not, the Preds will let them walk on July 5. Surely, Poile would rather do the first option so he can at least get something in return.
Blum totaled seven points (1g, 6a) last season in 35 games and had a -1 rating, while Halischuk had eleven points (5g, 6a) in 36 games.
The most notable Halischuk goal was during the Western Conference Semifinals in 2011 when he scored the double OT game winner against the Vancouver Canucks.