David Poile is Sixty Three years old. 63. He was nearly born in the 1940's and has been involved in professional hockey for over 40 years.
Ironically, he was a prolific scorer in College for Northeastern University, tallying 68 goals in 46 games. This is a man who is content with Viktor Stalberg as his big free agent signing of the last 5 years. Strange.
This is of course the perfect time to iterate that he may be "losing his fastball" as it were, after witnessing the Carter Hutton debacle, not to mention the Ryan Suter situation (we had Roman Josi- just trade Suter for Rick Nash) and the inability to acquire elite offensive players in the past 5 years. When you bring in a backup goaltender, you must always assume the worst, it doesn't matter if Pekka Rinne is capable of playing 70 games a year at near Vezina level. Minnesota are firmly in a playoff spot despite the fact that Nicklas Backstrom has been injured most of the year, while Josh Harding has been excellent, which is no surprise given his ability, personality and experience in the NHL. Poile has been very involved with USA Hockey recently and one might see a scenario where he retires from the NHL to be a full time adviser to his National Hockey Program.
Then, who replaces Poile in a few years? Are we tentative towards Paul Fenton because he has been Poiles' first mate for so long and will have the same posture and strategy as GM "offense by committee" DP? Or do we reward his loyalty with a well deserved promotion as he is one of the best assistant gm's in the business and should be a fine General Manager at the NHL level? Who else is there? Are we confident that he is the correct person to guide the Preds through a new era of "spending the full cap" in the ever modern NHL where offense clearly wins hockey games (ahem, Anaheim, Colorado, Tampa Bay)? Shouldn't we be doing like with Phil Housley and grooming the finest young GM prospect in the business or is Paul Fenton the de facto choice?
It feels like regardless of team success, Trotz is ready to move on to greener pastures, whether it be another NHL squad, an AHL coaching job, or good ol' retirement with the family. It seems extremely likely that when Poile moves on that Trotz will essentially be in the passengers' seat, as the pair sail Thelma and Louise style over the cliff of new horizons. These two are in a symbiotic relationship and could very well be the same hockey entity in two human forms, a joint departure would be not only fitting but seemingly a positive step as it would signal a clear and decisive change of philosophy within the organization.
Then, are we excited to have Phil Housley and Paul Fenton as the new dyamic duo going forward?
Personally, I'm 8/10 excited as PF feels like he may be a DP replica and Housley hasn't much professional coaching experience but I can't see who else would be a better option at the moment and these two gentlemen will surely do a fine job. The added bonuses of PH's familiarity with Seth Jones as well as his acumen in helping grow defensive prospects and Paul Fentons' familiarity with the organization as well as his large amount of Pro hockey experience seem like crucial details.