Nashville Predators general manager David Poile is stepping down this summer, just as the franchise is, in his words, “taking a step backward.”
All of this in the name of the future.
Friday concluded a selling season the likes of which the Nashville Predators haven’t experienced in quite some time.
Poile and incoming GM Barry Trotz fielded plenty of inquiries leading up to this year’s NHL trade deadline.
“What’s happened in the last week or so, it’s a step backward,” Poile said Friday, “to take, hopefully, a couple of steps forward in the very near future. I’m very, very happy where the organization is right now in terms of all the draft choices.”
The Predators have 13 picks this year and 28 picks overall the next three years, “a lot of opportunity,” Poile said.
Earlier this week the Predators sent forward Mikael Granlund to the Pittsburgh Penguins, defenseman Mattias Ekholm to the Edmonton Oilers, forward Tanner Jeannot to the Tampa Bay Lightning and forward Nino Niederreiter to the Winnipeg Jets.
Poile mentioned by name goalie Juuse Saros and defenseman Roman Josi as players who were off-limits during trade discussions.
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“We’re making some changes that we hope are short-term to make our long-term future very bright,” he said.
Poile wouldn’t give a specific timeline for what he had dubbed a “reset,” though.
“The timeline has started,” he said. “We don’t know where it’s going to go. There’s hopes and beliefs.
“I don’t think we’re a bad team, regardless of what has been done. We’re going to be a competitive team because we have Saros, who gives us a chance in every game. You still have one of the best defensemen in the league (Josi). I’m far from saying we’re not competitive.
“Can we make the playoffs (this season)? Maybe. Possibly. We’re going to give it everything we can. But we want to be a team competing for the Cup like we were the previous few years. We’ve lost that a little bit.
Poile said a large portion of the “resetting” has been done during the last week. Now it’s a game of wait and see in terms of what the Predators do with all the draft capital they’ve accumulated. Some of those picks could turn into players in a few years while others could turn into players the Predators pick up via trade.
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“I don’t think we could have gotten any more assets then we got in return for the players we traded,” he said. “I’m satisfied with what we did.”
Poile said he’s spoken with every general manager in the league during the last week or so and joked that he made them an offer most of them refused.
“I asked every general manager, ‘Who wants to make the last deal with David Poile,’ ” Poile said. “And my phone’s been dead.”
His last trade before the deadline was acquiring Rasmus Asplund from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft
Poile could very well make more deals at this summer’s draft in Nashville before he’s done.