The big man will be back. The Montreal Canadiens confirmed yesterday that defenseman Hal Gill will return with the Canadiens to play another year. While the financial term of the agreement were not disclosed in their press-release, Gill is reported to have signed for a one year deal worth 2.25 Million.
The Montreal Gazette also reported today that while big Hal wanted a two year contract, he settled for a one year deal and passed up on an opportunity to become a free agent and test the markets. He said that it will be up to him to have a good season and force the Habs to offer him the second year that he wanted.
Gill also said that he likes the team that the Habs have right now and that they one step away from being a competitor in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We can certainly hope that they can cover that step in the coming season but rest assured that Gill will be a major part of their success.
Here is the rest of the official media release by the Montreal Canadiens:
“ Hall Gill has played a key role since he joined our team two years ago. He brings leadership and determination on and off the ice, two very important components to the success of our group. He is an experienced veteran and his contribution to the development of our young players is extremely valuable,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.
Gill, 36, registered nine points (2 goals, 7 assists) in 75 games with the Canadiens in 2010-11. He served 43 penalty minutes while averaging 19:49 minutes of ice time per game. Gill ranked second on the team with 151 blocked shots. He added 10 hits and 16 blocked shots, with an average of 23:21 minutes of ice time per game, in seven playoff contests.
The Concord, Massachusetts native will be entering his 14th NHL season in 2011-12. He played in a total of 994 career regular season games in the NHL with Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh and Montreal recording 171 points (35 goals, 136 assists), and served 911 penalty minutes. Gill played 98 NHL career playoff games. He was a member of the 2009 Pittsburgh Penguins Stanley Cup Champions.
The 6’7’’, 244-pound defenceman was an 8th round selection by the Bruins, 207th overall in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft. He joined the Canadiens as a free agent on July 1st, 2009.