June 29, 2012

Bay State natives Gill, Schneider earn new deals

By Jesse Connolly

NHL general managers were mighty busy on Thursday.

Predators d-man Hal Gill (Getty Images)

While Pittsburgh Sidney Crosby grabbed the headlines with his new 12-year, $104 million deal, and was followed closely by the re-signings of Tuukka Rask (Boston) and Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles), those three weren’t alone in earning new contracts.

Two Bay State natives were among those to re-up with their current squads.

Hal Gill (Bolton, Mass.), who came to Nashville in a midseason trade with Montreal, agreed to a two-year pact worth a total of $4 million with the Predators.

“This is a really good fit for us. We knew that when we got him,” Predators GM David Poile said. “He played a really good role for us on ice and defensively and killing penalties and playing with our younger players. I see this role continuing in the next two years.”

Gill, 37, appeared in 23 games down the stretch for the Preds, chipping in five assists to go along with a plus-4 rating. After missing Nashville’s first-round playoff series against Detroit, the 6-foot-7 defenseman returned for their conference semifinal matchup with Phoenix. In five postseason contests, Gill was plus-2.

For his career, Gill has played in 1,070 games for the Bruins, Maple Leafs, Penguins, Canadiens and Predators, and has 36-148-184 totals. He won the Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009.

Canucks goalie Cory Schneider (Getty Images)

It’s officially Cory Schneider (Marblehead, Mass.) time in Vancouver, as the Canucks inked the former RFA-to-be to a three-year deal worth a total of $12 million.

Schneider, 26, became a full-time NHLer during the 2010-11 season. In the last two years, he owns a record of 36-12-3. In 2011-12 he sported a spectacular 1.96 goals-against average and .937 save percentage in 33 appearances.

"Cory has been in this organization as long as I've been here,” Canucks GM Mike Gillis told the Vancouver Sun. “We've watched him develop ... into one of the top young players in the game. He's a very important part of our hockey team."

Schneider took over as the team’s starter midway through their first-round series loss to the Kings. With the signing, the Canucks are expected to now take a more aggressive approach in their attempt to trade 33-year-old netminder Roberto Luongo, who is signed through the 2021-22 season. 

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.