February 18, 2012
Nashville's trading of home grown Blake Geoffrion to Montreal in exchange for UFA rental Hal Gill makes for intriguing story lines on two fronts.
Of course, Geoffrion has incredible hockey lineage in Montreal. He is the son of former Hab Danny Geoffrion. He is also grandson of Hall of Fame great Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion. And he is the great-grandson of Montreal hockey legend Howie Morenz.
Blake "Boomer" Geoffrion is still trying to establishing himself as an NHL player. The pressure in Montreal is hard enough for any young hockey player. It will be interesting to see how he can handle to pressure of Montreal given that hockey's first 4th generation player is going to play in the city his family once ruled like royalty. No matter how you shake it, it is a great story.
The trade could not have been an easy one for Nashville to make. Geoffrion was an intriguing story in Tennessee, too. Despite his Montreal ties, Boomer was raised in the city of Nashville and was the first graduate of Nashville minor hockey to play in the National Hockey League. The home town tie-ins made for a great story in The Music City.
But the Predators are hoping to write a different story. They are hoping that by adding towering Hal Gill, a veteran playoff warrior, that the team can make all sorts of headlines this spring in the Stanley Cup finals. The Predators are very much a contender out west, and adding the experience shut down defender Gill to the dynamic blue line duo of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter strengthens them that much more.
With a little luck Nashville could very well find themselves deep into the playoffs this spring. As amazing of a story as that would be, you have to believe the Predators' management have a bigger story in mind.
The Predators trading the local boy with the great name (and a 2nd round pick and prospect Robert Slaney) for what very likely is a rental defenseman is very much a message sent to upcoming free agent defensemen Weber and Suter. Both are looking to see how serious team management is about winning. The Predators are hoping acquiring a player with the pedigree of Hal Gill will not only with them playoff games in 2012, but convince their star defensemen to sign their names on new contracts.
That is very much the story the Predators are hoping to see written.
By The Way - The tree may be even stronger than all of that. Jennifer Conway tells us - brace yourself here - that the mother of Howie Morenz's wife was the sister-in-law of hockey badman Billy Coutu.