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FLYERS SIGN GILL, RECALL HALL

Veteran defenseman inks one-year deal
Tuesday, 10.01.2013 / 10:25 AM
By Anthony SanFilippo - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter / Flyers Inside Out
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Flyers Inside Out
FLYERS SIGN GILL, RECALL HALL

VOORHEES, N.J. – When the Flyers released their opening night roster yesterday, it was noticeably light with only 21 players listed.

Teams are allowed to carry 23 players on their roster at any one time, so there appeared to be some certainty that they would make another roster move or two before opening night.

And that happened Tuesday.

The Flyers signed defenseman Hal Gill to a one-year contract worth $700,000, making him the eighth defenseman on the roster.

They also recalled forward Adam Hall from the Phantoms, making him the 13th forward.

Gill’s signing is the most interesting news though.

In camp on a professional tryout contract, Gill, 38, impressed the Flyers enough to beat out Bruno Gervais and Oliver Lauridsen for a roster spot.

This leaves the Flyers with a glut of NHL defensemen, as most teams carry seven, not eight rearguards, which means the situation could change in the near future.

However, it puts the Flyers in a more comfortable position defensively from a depth perspective than it’s been in the past.

With Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, Mark Streit, and Nicklas Grossmann locked in as the top five on the blue line, having Erik Gustafsson, Andrej Meszaros and now Gill on the NHL roster and then four defensemen on the Adirondack Phantoms with NHL experience (Gervais, Lauridsen, Brandon Manning and Matt Konan) plus a well-regarded prospect in Mark Alt - and having all 13 defensemen healthy - leaves the team feeling much better about itself when it comes to its defense.

As for Gill, he was considered a long shot when he was brought into camp, as the Flyers didn’t appear to have room for him, but he was able to win a job using his veteran guile.

Gill is positionally sound and is able to smartly force rushing forwards to the outside into lower percentage areas. He also is a big-bodied, net-front presence who can clear the line of sight for the goalies and isn’t afraid to put his 6-foot, 8-inch frame in front of oncoming shots.

In the past five seasons, Gill has blocked exactly 500 shots as a member of the Montreal Canadiens and Nashville Predators.

The Flyers also like what he brings to the locker room as a veteran presence and his leadership qualities. Gill has served in the leadership group in each of his stops in the NHL.

All told, Gill is entering his 17th NHL season and the Flyers will be his sixth team having previously played for Boston, Toronto and Pittsburgh as well as Montreal and Nashville.

He has played in 1,102 regular season games and an additional 110 playoff games. He went to the Stanley Cup Finals twice with the Penguins, winning the Cup in 2009.

Never considered an offensive player, Gill has just 36 goals and 148 assists for 184 points in his career. He has also compiled 960 career penalty minutes.

Check back later today for more on Gill signing with the team after practice.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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