First, the current blue line has seven healthy members.
- Assume that Despres, as good as he has looked, is headed back to Wilkes-Barre.
- Looking beyond this season, Matt Niskanen is a restricted free agent. He counts for $1.5 million against the cap. The Pens need to play him to continue to figure out if they want to keep him longer term. He's currently your sixth defenseman at even strength, in terms of time on ice.
- Even if they wanted to, who would you move / sit to make space for Gill? He would instantly be the slowest defense the Pens have for a team built on speed, and his Corsi numbers aren't very good for a team that values quick thinking and good passing.
As far as the cap situation goes, according to CapGeek.com, the Pens can take on a full season salary of about $4.6 million, and by the trade deadline, assuming things continue as they are (ie, Sid and Staal are still out), they'll be able to take on about $5 million. Gill's cap number is $2.25 million. The Pens have to be looking to add some scoring up front, especially with the latest injury to Tyler Kennedy. Ray Whitney or some other rental player has to be looking very enticing right about now. Gill would take up nearly half of what the team has to spend (assuming that they want to spend it).
Lastly, what would they give up for a few month rental of Hal Gill? If it's anything more than a fifth or sixth round draft choice, then I think it's too much.
Unless there's some rash of blue line injuries, I don't see this happening.