At 2 p.m. on Friday, he found out he was no longer a member of the Montreal Canadiens. It was no surprise really, as Hal Gill had heard his name connected to half the league as the trade rumors swirled around him.
Four hours later, Gill arrived outside the visitors dressing room at Joe Louis Arena to join his new team. Wearing gray dress pants and a long black coat, the 6-foot-7 Gill was immediately a presence, as the young Nashville Predators walked up to introduce themselves one by one before resuming their game of two-touch soccer in the hallway.
"It's exciting," said Predators forward Nick Spaling minutes after the introduction. "A new face, it's exciting around the locker room. You don't like to lose guys you play with like [Blake Geoffrion], but to add somebody old and experienced like him, you can learn a lot."
As Gill turned to leave and join Nashville coach Barry Trotz for a quick meeting, a member of the Detroit Red Wings looked up from down the hall and spotted Gill. If he didn't know the trade had happened, he knew now.
He smiled, then shouted a bit of profanity in Gill's direction.
Gill is a rival now, playing in the West for the first time in his long career.
But this addition for the Predators represents much more than that.
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