Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/20/12 at 12:34 PM ET
from Dave Stubbs of the Montreal Gazette,
His mentorship last season of rookie defenceman P.K. Subban was incalculable. On the rink, when paired with Subban, Gill was the fallback, dependable steed when his partner, a frisky colt, strayed or got into trouble; off the ice, Gill helped teach Subban how to be a professional.
Now Gill takes those qualities to Nashville to nurture young players there, being counted upon to guide them toward the Western Conference playoffs.
That’s exactly what he was told Friday in Detroit by Predators GM David Poile and head coach Barry Trotz.
“They told me what they expected of me and it’s pretty much in my wheelhouse, so to speak,” Gill said. “Kill penalties, try to be a shutdown defenceman and be a leader in a young locker room. That sounds like something I’m comfortable doing and I hope I can help out.”
Surely he’ll lift the Nashville penalty-kill higher than its current No. 16 ranking?
“I hope so,” Gill said, laughing again. “That’s the plan. I always say, it doesn’t matter what your (kill) percentage is, if you give up four goals but you’re up 6-5 and you kill the penalty in the last minute, then the PK won the game. You look at it case by case. Hopefully, we’ll have some big games coming down the stretch and into the playoffs. Hopefully, our PK can help win games.”
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