Since his "season" is a completely year around ordeal I have selected the period of May 22nd 2013 to May 22nd 2014 as the parameters of our assessment. It encompasses an entire offseason, regular season and every relevant date in between. Thus, we can assess every aspect of Poile`s management in 2013 - 14 from the Draft to Free Agency through to the midseason adjustments that every General Manager must make to make sure he ices the most competitive team possible.
Hiring of Phil Housley
Phil is one of the better offensive defensemen to ever play in the NHL and was hired in large part due to his impressive work with USA Hockey and particularly with American Hero Seth Jones. This was seen as a smart hiring by the hockey world especially due to the youth and potential of our current blueline. While it is pretty difficult to judge any of Phil`s work so far as assistant coach, all accounts point to this being a successful hiring, especially as he is future head coach material.
- My Grade: A+
Since we can`t truly blame Poile for a defenseman falling to Fourth Overall or that our team didn`t tank as thoroughly as possible to ensure a higher draft position and better odds at snagging an elite young forward (At least Drouin or Barkov, maybe MacKinnon) then by all accounts the first pick he made (along with the extensive help of Paul Fenton, Jeff Kealty and the Preds draft posse) was a good one. The only nit to be picked is that Valeri Nichushkin is just totally freakin`amazing and exactly what we need and was projected to go in the top 3 until one of the most preposterous Russian biases I`ve ever seen (Val consistently expressed a desire to play in North America and his game, skillset and physical frame are perfectly suited to playing in the NHL) led to him dropping to 9th overall but landing Seth Jones, even if he only serves us as a trade asset going forward (pardon the pun), is simply a wonderful move. Meanwhile, the other selections made by Poile were quite solid as many of his Scnadinavian picks are already showing promise, most notably in the most recent World Junior Tournament. Meanwhile, Jonathan Ismael Diaby is one of the more promising D prospects out of the Q at the moment due to his awesome combination of size, athleticism and skill. All in all, to quote Ice Cube, It was a good Day.
- My Grade: A
2013 Free Agency
Lecavalier, Alfredsson, Briere, Iginla, Ryder, Ribeiro, Horton, MacArthur, Filppula, Olesz, Pouliot, Roy, Jagr, Gerbe, Brunner, Boyes, Grabovski and last but absolutely not least, Mason "1M Try Out Contract!" Raymond were all avoided by Poile (though some were indeed unsignable) in favour of Barry Trotzes #Grit Squad featuring Stalberg! and special guest Carter Hutton. So... yeah. 14 years and 38 million to mostly aging role players. A backup that was floundering in the ECHL only a few years prior and was thrust into a brutal position as Pekka suffered complications from his offseason hip surgery. The only silver lining is that we didn`t sign David Clarkson to 7 years 5.25 Million. Aside from that this was a brutal offseason that directly contributed to this squad missing the playoffs and could hurt the franchise for years to come.
- My Grade: D-
1) Mat Hendricks to Edmonton for fomer first round pick Devan Dubnyk.
It`s initially important to note that Ken Holland was feeling immense pressure to keep the Red Wings playoff streak alive, especially while the elite members of his forward core were experiencing a bubonic plague of injuries and to trade one of his best prospects at the deadline for an aging UFA is about as bad a move you will ever see from one of the best GMs of his generation. It was a panic move and we simply got lucky, in a very similar way to the Fillip Forsberg trade, a year prior. That said, Poile managed this situation well and should be lauded for acquiring such a wonderful young talent at a position we dearly need as well as a very useful draft pick. Meanwhile, the Oilers were similarly myopic in their unloading of a former first round pick for an aging fourth liner on a bad contract. The Kevin Klein trade has been a polarizing event, especially with our longtime D man competing for a Stanley Cup as we speak, but acquiring a promising young talent who is perfectly suited to the style of play you wish to pursue is never a bad thing
- My Grade: B+
Firing of Barry Trotz
This move was likely at least two years too late and could have negatively impacted one of our prized draft picks, Colin Wilson, amongst many other unique situations. That said, it was by all means the right move and Poile executed it respectfully. Trotz was even offered a position in the organization though he has moved on to Washington to
turn Ovechkin into a Selke Candidate, inspire Yevgni Kuznetsov to return to the KHL in 3 years, make grimacing faces every time Niklas Backstrom loses yet another faceoff or makes a poor defensive play, physically erects a Marcus Johansson Doghouse in the 300 level in the Verizon center, fantasize that Mike Green is Shea Weber serve as head coach of their hockey club
- My Grade: B-
Hiring of Peter Laviolette
OMG HE HAZ A TURTLE AND LIKE IS SO COOL AND STUFF AND OMG NO D & C AND LIKE WILSON IS GONNA BE AMAZEBALLS NEXT YUR! This signing was met with much enthusiasm here at OTF (Mouth Guard aside) as it steers this franchise in a new and exciting direction that is highly in tune with the ways of the modern NHL and will benefit many of our players greatly. What can I say other than; Attaboy Poile!
- My Grade: A+ (If only just for how promising it feels at the moment)
All in all it would appear that Poile had a pretty good year. What we must do now though, is assess these moves based on degree of difficulty. Many of the trades were handed to him on a platter, Detroit and Edmonton were overeager to make incredibly near sighted changes and the New York Rangers were practically packing Del Zotto`s suitcases for him long before the actual Klein trade. Meanwhile the hirings and firings were rather obvious moves to be made and it is extremely arguable that Trotz should have dismissed years ago as he most notably continued to play dump and chase in a league that was moving heavily towards puck possession. All in all, GMDP did some good things but due to the horrific nature of the summer signings and the context in which his positive moves were made, I must lean towards the lower end of the grading scale.
Radu47`s 2013 - 14 Season Grade: C+ Is a C+ good enough to remain employed as General Manager of an NHL team? I say no. What do you reckon?
Amended Grade After Discussion: D+ (For further insight read the comments)
David Poile should be fired as General Manager of the Nashville Predators.