The Predators traded Slaney along with Blake Geoffrion and a second round pick to the Montreal Canadiens for Hal Gill and a conditional draft pick. Gill, who is 36 years old, is in the last year of his current contract and will be an unrestricted free agent in the summer. With not much money left to pay to Gill from now until the end of the season, the Predators add some depth to their defense as they prepare for the playoffs, at a very minimal cost.
Looking back at the those two trades, there isn't much return for what the Predators have given up. They did manage to save the 3.5 million dollars per year, for this year and next year, that Lombardi would have been paid, but have given up quite a bit for not much in return. Compared to last years roster, out of Nashville is Cody Franson, Matthew Lombardi, Blake Geoffrion, and a second round draft pick, and in return is just Hal Gill, who is likely just a rental player until the end of the season.
The limited funds in Nashville have really handcuffed the management of the team, despite that though, the Predators are currently fifth in the West. They are also in one of the hardest divisions in the league. The Central Division also has the Red Wings, Blues, Blackhawks and Blue Jackets. All of those teams except Columbus are in the top six in the West, yet the Predators have a record of 13-2-2 against teams in their division.
Indeed, the Predators are a model NHL team to follow. I'm sure they would much rather have Cody Franson on their team right now, they may not have had to trade for Gill if Franson was still there, but they keep on doing what needs to be done. They are a new team compared to others in the league, and there really isn't much going for them, yet they almost always seem to manage their way into the post-season. So thumbs up to the Predators for this trade given their circumstances.