Obviously, the Era is still ongoing and could feasibly continue for the next 5 years, but by no means is it too early to assess the work our dynamic duo has done for a decade and a half. I will help foster this argument by posting relevant facts and details towards the entirety of the situation. In the end, all that really matters, after 15 years of the longest tenured management combination in Professional Sport History, are you happy with the results? Have you enjoyed this era for better and for worse? 'Til death do you part? Sorry, that just seemed fitting to say.
Relevant Argument One: Off Ice Difficulties
The Predators started as a small market expansion franchise with a roster full of castoffs. It took years to shed that stigma as we finally were able to sign top free agents in 2006. Though in the following years, a number of excellent NHL talent would leave the team in large part due to financial reasons (Timonen, Radulov, Suter). The franchise nearly moved to Hamilton/Kansas City around 2007 due to a lack of corporate support in Nashville and the nefarious "Boots" Del Biaggio. Despite all these distractions, the squad remained competitive for 8 years while developing players from within.
Relevant Argument Two: Regular Season Consistency
|2011-12||NHL||Nashville Predators*||82||48||26||8||104||.634||0.34||0.01||2nd||Lost NHL Conference Semi-Finals||B. Trotz (48-26-8)|
|2010-11||NHL||Nashville Predators*||82||44||27||11||99||.604||0.31||0.01||2nd||Lost NHL Conference Semi-Finals||B. Trotz (44-27-11)|
|2009-10||NHL||Nashville Predators*||82||47||29||6||100||.610||0.06||0.06||3rd||Lost NHL Conference Quarter-Finals||B. Trotz (47-29-6)|
|2008-09||NHL||Nashville Predators||82||40||34||8||88||.537||-0.19||0.06||5th||B. Trotz (40-34-8)|
|2007-08||NHL||Nashville Predators*||82||41||32||9||91||.555||0.13||0.12||2nd||Lost NHL Conference Quarter-Finals||B. Trotz (41-32-9)|
|2006-07||NHL||Nashville Predators*||82||51||23||8||110||.671||0.78||0.05||2nd||Lost NHL Conference Quarter-Finals||B. Trotz (51-23-8)|
|2005-06||NHL||Nashville Predators*||82||49||25||8||106||.646||0.32||-0.07||2nd||Lost NHL Conference Quarter-Finals||B. Trotz (49-25-8)|
|2003-04||NHL||Nashville Predators*||82||38||29||11||4||91||.555||-0.05||-0.04||3rd||Lost NHL Conference Quarter-Finals||B. Trotz (38-29-11-4)|
In an 8 year span, the Nashville Predators enjoyed the 5th most regular season success in the NHL. Only New Jersey, Detroit, Vancouver and San Jose won more games during that period. They earned 7 playoff berths. Few teams in NHL history have enjoyed the such consistency for that long (seriously) and many of them were dynasties that won multiple cups. Obviously we weren't a dynasty nor came close to winning a cup but being able to root for a competitive team for 8 straight years is almost unheard of in Professional Hockey. This franchise would have been in pretty elite company if he hadn't missed the postseason by 3 points in 2009. In 95 years of NHL hockey, only 23 franchises have managed 9 or more postseason berths in a row.
Relevant Argument Three: A Lack of Playoff Success
Always a bridesmaid, never a bride. For 8 consecutive years, TP iced competitive teams that earned a playoff berth every year except for one. In those 7 post seasons, 5 times this squad lost in the opening round and twice won a series only to be eliminated in the Conference Semis. At first glance, that appears to be a woeful run of futility. But it's important to consider the nature of our opponents in those series:
04 – DET; '03 SC Champs, 109 point season, P Trophy, +66 GD, Team of vets with depth
06 – SJ; 7 less regular season points than us, +8 less GD, Tremendous squad with depth
07 – SJ; 3 less pts than us, +1 less GD, Elite team that could have easily won the P Trophy.
08 – DET; 115 points, Won Stanley Cup, +73 GD 30 goals better than the 2nd best team.
10 – CHI; 112 points, 2nd best GD at +62, A Team full of Elite players, Won Stanley Cup,
11 – VAN; 117 pts, P Trophy, +77 GD 26 goals better than #2, One win away from the SC
12 – PHX; Phoenix were a solid playoff team with good depth. This series was a failure.
In 6 out 7 series we faced an Elite opponent, squads that employed one or more generational talents and were at least among the 5 best teams in the NHL that year. Additionally those squads were always near or at the cap while we were consistently under by up to 14 - 20 Million.
Relevant Argument Four: The Glass Half Empty
7 Playoff berths in 15 years (46%). Two playoff series wins in 15 years. Zero relevant banners in 15 years.
After 15 year under the reign of Barry Trotz and David Poile, this franchise has a total record of 544-471-60-98.