It’s Wednesday again, which means we at OTF laser focus our hockey frustrations down into “one thing” we want to see happen within the organization and roster. This week’s One Thing is dedicated to General Manager David Poile.
David Poile took the helm as the General Manager of the then expansion Nashville Predators in 1997 and currently remains the only GM for the franchise. Under his leadership, the Predators slowly but steadily emerged as a competitive team in the NHL, culminating in the 2017 Stanley Cup Finals appearance. That same year, GM DP won the General Manager of the Year Award given by the NHL.
This steady success however, has been followed recently by seasons of a less competitive Predators team and some large trades that haven’t appeared to pan out for the organization. Frustration with the direction of this team seems to grow by the week, with many fans directing their grievances at Poile. There are a variety of opinions among the Predators faithful as to what David Poile should do to get the team back on a winning track. Here at OTF, we have sorted through the varied perspectives and each come up with the “one thing” we would like to see General Manager David Poile do.
Here’s a retirement cake, David Poile.
Honestly, it’s pretty clear that the David Poile era is coming to an end in Nashville. He should give advice on Nashville’s next GM, but he should not be part of the selection process. It would make the most sense for Poile to step down at the conclusion of this season and let a new GM search be conducted over the summer.
A new GM can bring in a new coach/coaching staff. He or she could also adjust various office positions to better serve the Predators. This new GM should be at the reins in the 2021 Draft and start the new season completely fresh. It’s time for some new air in Bridgestone Arena.
Don’t trade Filip Forsberg...for anything.
Predators fans have reached that point where a rebuild feels less painful than watching the team whimper through the remainder of the season. It would be shocking if the roster looks the same after the trade deadline than it does now. I have heard the whispers and rumors, and although my Swedish heart can barely heandle the thought of losing Mattias Ekholm, the player I think David Poile needs to protect the most is Filip Forsberg.
There is a good amount of forward talent coming from Milwaukee/Chicago. Fans have gotten a glimpse of Tolvanen, Pitlick, Trenin, and Olivier on NHL ice. It’s been encouraging to see how they are growing into future roster spots. And don’t get fans started on the vision of Philip Tomasino in Brdigestone Arena - they are hungry to see it. But these young hockey lambs are going to need a shepherd, and there is no one better suited to herding talent along than stand out Forsberg. Forsberg brings out the best in whomever he skates with, and his play could raise the confidence and experience for these new rookies exponentially.
While a rebuild with youth is surely the way to go at this point, fans deserve some good hockey to watch through the growing pains. There is no one as fun to watch on the ice as Filip Forsberg. In the seasons of mediocrity ahead, Forsberg will still sell tickets with his flashy playmaking and is a guy to build a killer marketing plan around - hello, mustache.
For the love of God, don’t give your son the job just because he’s your son.
Mr. David Poile, I would like to beg that you don’t turn the Nashville Predators into a nepotistic clownshow. This team needs a new direction, your son most likely isn’t that, and while I know that he’s always wanted to be like you I’d prefer that you do what’s best for the franchise. If he’s truly the most qualified and best candidate to bestow the Preds with a glorious, refreshing vision for success, wonderful, but let’s make sure that the job evaluation is fair and not just a checklist of the following:
- Are you related to me?
- Have I worked with you?
- Are you an ex-player for the team?
Sincerely from your friend, Eamon Smith.
If you’re going to rebuild... REBUILD
I would like to preface this by saying I don’t WANT the Preds to rebuild. I would WANT the powers-at-be to figure out a way to help this loaded, expensive roster play to their full potential.
But if you ARE going to pull the trigger on a roster overhaul, you have to commit to it. This can’t be a “reload,” a “revamp,” a “rebuild on the fly,” or anything of that nature. If you’re rebuilding, you’re rebuilding the foundation of the team. That might require some tough decisions. Is there any doubt Filip Forsberg will resign? Is Mattias Ekholm likely to get snatched by Seattle in the expansion draft? Then it’s your responsibility to explore trade options.
Yeah, that sucks, but it beats what many teams — Detroit, Vancouver, Anaheim, and... yeah... even Nashville — have done in the past: bring in random pieces with the intent of making your team just good enough to be competitive. It might get you into a first round series for a year or two, but long-term, it often backfires, and you wind up further in limbo than you already are.
Even if you might not be around, plan, plan and plan some more for both the expansion and regular draft
While I echo the sentiments from my colleagues above, a difficult season to watch could be followed up by an even tougher offseason if the organization isn’t ready. We know trades are possibly in the works, and fifteen of the players currently on the active roster or taxi squad will be free agents next year, so every single move the Predators make this offseason has to count.
In a perfect world, it would be a brand new regime running the show for both the Seattle expansion draft and the entry draft, but things may not happen that way. Either way, this team needs to do their homework on what most experts are calling a less-than-average draft talent and figure out who the core of this team is and build accordingly.
If the Nashville Predators, David Poile or possibly even his replacement mess up this crucial offseason, it could add YEARS on to the oncoming rebuild.
These are our One Things this Wednesday. Jump in the comments and let us know what one thing you want David Poile to do.